Southern Territory Honors Wounded Veteran

Local 2916 member Connie Rendon, who was severely injured while deployed in Iraq, was honored this Veterans Day for her service to our country. Pictured left to right are: Hector Rendon, Connie Rendon, LL 2916 President Patrick Cox, LL 2916 VP Bob Judkins, IP Tom Buffenbarger and GVP Bob Martinez.

Every year on Veterans Day, the IAM celebrates and honors all veterans, and especially the veterans among our ranks. This year, Local 2916 in Corpus Christi, TX honored Connie Rendon, a proud veteran and member of Local 2916.

Rendon joined the IAM in 1999, and served as Secretary-Treasurer of the lodge. She was also a Plane Captain at NAS Corpus Christi and was in the Army Reserve. In March of 2004, her unit was deployed to Iraq. On Sept. 8, her supply convoy was attacked. During the attack, an Improvised Explosive Device destroyed the vehicle she was driving, killing the passenger. Rendon was severely wounded and airlifted out. She was medically retired from the Army and received the Purple Heart for her wounds.

She has undergone 36 surgeries to repair her injuries. Her husband, Hector, and two sons have also helped in her recovery. She is now back on the job at Sikorsky at the base. This Veterans Day, Local 2916 President Pat Cox and Business Representative Jody Bennett coordinated a celebration honoring Rendon. International President Tom Buffenbarger and Southern Territory General Vice President Bob Martinez attended.

Rendon was escorted to the event by about 40 members of the South Texas Patriot Guard Riders, the Harley-Davidson motorcycles leading the SUV with Rendon through the streets of Corpus Christi. Members of the VFW attended, and the Patriots Band provided the music.

“Connie, your co-workers, our brothers and sisters at Local Lodge 2916 and members throughout the IAM want to take this day to honor you and your service to our country,” said Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez. “Your heroism and valor puts you in an elite category – that notable line of brave men and women throughout our nation’s history who sacrificed and willingly laid their lives on the line for the freedom we all enjoy. The Machinists Union is proud of our military and we support its mission every day. Many of our IAM members have been and are now in harm’s way, just as you were when you stood in defense of freedom and our way of life.”

“Most of us will never experience, nor truly comprehend, the length and breadth of the grievous, life-changing injuries you suffered, and still suffer,” said International President Tom Buffenbarger. “But we can recognize courage when we see it, self-sacrifice when we see it and dedication when we see it. And here in the IAM, we see all of those things in you, Sister Rendon. You are a true American Hero.”