AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – On Veterans Day 2023, KAMR Local 4 News set out to recognize the Hometown Heroes of the Amarillo and High Plains region for their service and sacrifice.

During the Veterans Day 2023 special program, the KAMR Local 4 News team highlighted a number of the Hometown Heroes who have served and sacrificed for the United States as well as local agencies, organizations, and programs that work to serve them in turn.

These highlighted heroes and organizations included:

Dr. Carolina Perez, a surgical podiatrist with the Amarillo Veterans Healthcare System who served for 12 years in the US Air Force. KAMR Local 4 News’s Jack Kessler shared her story about her time as a combat medic and what drives her to help her fellow veterans at the VA.

The Missing in America Project, an organization founded in 2007 and focused on locating, identifying, and interring the unclaimed cremains of veterans. After the memorial ceremonies are held, the identified cremains are escorted with honors to their final resting places. The project held its annual Honor Mission at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial in April.

The American Legion Darren Tate Post 425, which is one of the newest American Legion outposts in Texas. Located in Canyon, the Post works to provide services to area veterans including VA assistance, homelessness resources, scholarship programs, and volunteer work.

Hope Lives Here, a local organization that provides eligible veterans service dogs at no cost. The organization provides service dogs for veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, military sexual trauma, and or chronic pain disorder.

The Freedom Museum USA in Pampa, which features a large collection of military memorabilia from past decades and works to educate and allow visitors to connect with the stories of those who have served.

Joey “Wise” Martinez, an artist and graduate student at West Texas A&M University who served in the US Marine Corps. During his time in uniform, he had the opportunity to make art in Brazil, Nicaragua, the Netherlands, and Japan. In April, KAMR Local 4 News’s Princess Bryant met with Martinez to hear his story and discuss the exhibit of his art that was presented in WT’s Dord Fitz Formal Gallery in Mary Moody Northen Hall. 

Finally, with Thanksgiving approaching on the High Plains, local nonprofit VetsGiving is working to serve veterans and the community during the holiday. The nonprofit works with the VA and the Veterans Resource Center to compile a list of veterans, regardless of life situation, who will receive home-cooked Thanksgiving meals each year.

On Veterans Day and every other day of the year, KAMR Local 4 News thanks the Hometown Heroes of the High Plains, veterans and active-duty service members, and their families for their service.

For the latest Amarillo news and regional updates, check with and tune in to KAMR Local 4 News at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m. and Fox 14 News at 9:00 p.m. CST.