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2017-02-09

Hunt family brings artistic mural to Legion veterans

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As the children of Thomas and Sandra Hunt reached mid-life and turned the pages of their family history, the pride in their military service heritage grew. Thomas III, Dana, and Mason Hunt queried their father, Thomas, and spent hours of on-line, family archive and artifact research. Their 150-plus year military heritage speaks volumes of their ancestors’ entrepreneurial spirit, hard work and commitment to a new and growing country and state.
The earliest known Texas “Hunt” forefathers served in the Confederate Army of Texas after arriving from Tennessee in the 1850’s. During World War I, Philip Mason Hunt, served as a U.S. Marine Corps gunner aboard the USS MISSISSIPPI, the lead ship of the great dreadnought class of ships. Family photos show the “Marine Hike – Guantanamo Bay Cuba”. After his service, Phillip, established a tool manufacturing company which he led and adapted to the nation’s wartime needs, i.e. making barrels for the Navy.
World War II also meant service in the U.S. Navy for his older son, Philip Jr. after commissioning through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at the University of Texas. Ensign Phillip Hunt, Jr., reported in May 1944, and served on the Lexington class battlecruiser, USS Saratoga, with service in the Pacific. His younger brother, Thomas, would find himself in the Navy a few years later in the Pacific also. An atoll in the Pacific was a long way from Schreiner Military Academy in Kerrville (which before 1971 included military, secondary school and junior college curricula). His primary duty was refueling aircraft on Midway Island. After the Korean War, Thomas served in the U.S. Naval Reserves until 1960. The family business supported the Texas oil industry resulting in numerous moves and investments. Teaming with other like-minded entrepreneurs and businesses, Thomas Hunt was instrumental in the real estate planning and growth of the Fulshear and Brookshire areas west of Houston.
The Thomas and Sandra Hunt Foundation is dedicated to honoring the service of Thomas II and the memory of Sandra by supporting their charitable interests in religion, education and support to our nation’s military and Veterans. “It is an honor to learn about another great Texas family in Bandera County, and honor their military service,” said Post Commander Birchall, and “This patriotic addition also makes us a much better looking member of the community.” The Bandera American Legion Post 157 is most grateful to the Foundation and the administrators for their generosity. The incredible waving American flag now gracing the Legion Hall building is a strong, visible reminder of our hard won freedoms, the need to protect and defend them, and support those who stood tall to sacrifice their all.
The public is invited to meet members of the family and witness formal recognition of The Thomas and Sandra Hunt Foundation and formally dedicate the mural on Saturday, February 11th at 10:00 a.m. Meet the San Antonio artist, Matthew Bustamente, who also graced the Western Trail Antiques & Marketplace with a mural and has other works prominently displayed in San Antonio. In addition to the dedication by Bandera Mayor Schauman and Dennis Birchall, Commander, Post 157, a donations accepted breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to noon. The Texas Workforce Solutions Alamo will be on hand to register employers and job seekers. An Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) representative will provide information on the Weatherization Assistance Program. The County Veterans Service Officer will be on hand also. The Historic Jail will be open next door from 9 am – 1 pm. Everyone is invited to this special “WE LOVE VETERANS” event.