This past Monday, one of our own was selected for a great honor by the County of El Paso, Texas. Robert Way, a Department of Texas Past Commandant, was named the 2019 El Paso County Veteran of the Year and earned a position on the "Veterans Wall of Honor" which recognizes all Veterans of El Paso County.
Robert Way is an outstanding Marine and truly a shining example of selfless service, dedication to duty, reflecting great credit upon himself and keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps.
The unveiling ceremony of the El Paso County Veterans Wall of Honor and announcement of the 2019 El Paso County Veteran of the Year. Held on July 29, 2019 in Room 301 of the El Paso County Courthouse.
Sergeant Major Robert D. Way, USMC (Ret.) was born April 1, 1942 in St. Louis Missouri. He enlisted in the Marine Corps on March 16, 1960 and went to Recruit Training at MCRD in San Diego on June 20, 1960. Sergeant Major Way served 30 years with the Marine Corps. Upon retirement from the Marine Corps in 1990, Sergeant Major Way became a MCJROTC instructor at the Marine Military in Harlingen, Texas, where he formed Fox Company as the newest unit in the Academy.
In 1993, he moved to El Paso and became an NJROTC instructor at Socorro High School until his retirement in 2005. During his tenure, Socorro NJROTC was selected as the No. 1 Unit in their area for several years. In his final year as a NJROTC instructor at Socorro High School, Socorro NJROTC was selected in 1995 as the No. 1 NJROTC in the whole nation.
Sergeant Major Way has been an active member of El Paso’s Deane Hawkins Detachment, Marine Corps League since 1993. In 2012, he was selected as the Department of Texas Marine of the Year. He has served as the Detachment Chaplain, as the Adjutant and as Detachment Commandant from 2005 – 2017. He was elected from 2015-2016 to serve as the Department of Texas Senior Vice Commandant and was elected as the State Commandant from 2017 to 2018. Sergeant Major Way is also involved in many youth and veterans related community service activities in El Paso. Sergeant Major Way was one of four brothers in the Marine Corps and is the youngest of – and the last of – 14 siblings. He met his wife, Mildred (Ricki) at the American Embassy in Cyprus, where she worked with the Deputy Chief of Mission in the Ambassador’s Suite. They have two sons. We thank Sergeant Major Way for his service and for all his outstanding work in the community!
The County Judge’s Office, the County Veterans Advisory Board, along with various Veteran Organizations designed the Veterans Wall of Honor to recognize all Veterans of El Paso County, Texas who have served and defended our great nation throughout American history. We remember and pay tribute to those who fought and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the following war eras beginning in 1898: the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and the Islamic State-Operation.
El Paso County is proud of our Veteran Service Organizations and Chapters who after serving their Country, continue to go above and beyond to give back to the community we all love and call home. A Veteran of the Year will be selected annually in honor of their military service, and for the work they have done to make a positive impact throughout the County. Our Veterans are a dynamic part of our region as they continue to lead the way through volunteering, voting, community engagement, and are always there to lend a helping hand to some of our most vulnerable residents.
We are committed to ensuring a strong partnership with Fort Bliss, home of America’s Tank Division, and we encourage service members and their families who are retiring or separating from the military to make El Paso their home. El Paso County will continue to champion and support Veterans by collaborating with community organizations to provide accessible and high-quality healthcare, education, employment, and quality of life to ensure we remain a “Veteran Ready County.”