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Faces of Fort Cavazos: Guadalupe Lopez has been serving his country and community of 70 years

Posted at 6:30 PM, Dec 01, 2023

KILLEEN, Texas — For many veterans, wearing a military uniform is just the start of a lifetime of service.

That what it was like for Guadalupe Lopez, retired Sergent Major for the U.S. Army and this year’s Fort Cavazos Retiree of the Year.

His story begins 85 years ago in Loredo, Texas.

”It was right after the depression and the start of WWII,” Lopez said.

“I had some experience of what our nation went through during the war.”

Time were hard on his entire family back then so he joined the Army.

”My father was working for the Teamsters at that time and the Teamsters had gone on strike and he was on strike for 2 years,” Lopez said.

“I decided help to help the family of five.”

His father told them he was 17, but he actually went to basic training when he was only 16.

That was 1954 and he served until he retired as a Sergeant Major in 1980.

He has been serving his community ever since.

”Because my husband is a soldier for life,” said Virgina Lopez, Guadalupe Lopez’s wife.

"He's a very dedicated retiree that helps the community as much as he can.”

He was integral in bringing the Memorial Day ceremony to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery and has run the Killeen Veterans Day parade for the past two decades.

That doesn’t even scratch the surface so he is now the Fort Cavazos Retiree of the Year.

”Well you know, every year they select somebody, and I guess it was my turn since I'm retired from that organization,” Lopez said.

“I guess they have seen everything that I have done.”

Everything in the name of service.

”I need to. I need to stay oppressed of what’s going on and I need to help them. I will help them until I die,” Lopez said.

Guadalupe Lopez has served his country and his community for seven decades, and this is a fraction of what he has done and continues to do.

He has no plans of stopping anytime soon.