Texas Border Business
By Roberto Hugo González
In a room filled with applause and admiration, a local RGV hero, Col. Frank Plummer (Ret.), was honored for his unparalleled dedication and service to the country and his community. The occasion was graced by city officials, veterans, and friends, with Jim Darling introducing the decorated colonel, expressing heartfelt gratitude for Plummer’s influence on his life.
The story unfolds in 1986 when Darling, a city attorney for the City of McAllen, first met Col. Plummer. This meeting was to mark the beginning of a lifelong friendship and mutual respect between the two. Plummer’s vision to honor the valley’s veterans and their sacrifices resonated deeply with Darling and the community. With tenacity and a spirited drive, Plummer embarked on a mission to build a war memorial, a testament to the bravery of those who served.
The war memorial stands tall today, a symbol of the relentless efforts of Col. Plummer and the support from the community. Under the twilight of the gathering, attendees shared anecdotes and glimpses of their visits to the memorial, praising Plummer’s determination and commitment.
Col. Plummer, a three-war veteran, served valiantly in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. His experiences on the battlefield painted a vivid image of courage and resilience, as shared by Darling through tales of Plummer’s time as an advisor in Vietnam and his involvement in various capacities during the wars. His service garnered numerous accolades and medals, adding to the aura of respect that enveloped the room.
As the crowd listened intently, Plummer recounted his journey in the valley, the warmth of the families, and the community’s embracement that led him to choose this place for retirement. His family, too, found their paths in the valley, contributing to the community and its development.
A moving moment arose when Plummer spoke of the heartbreaking stories of the veterans and their families. The memorial, conceptualized in 1980, became a reality through perseverance, fundraising efforts totaling around 4 million, and a shared vision with the community and city officials, including Darling. The memorial not only commemorates the heroes but also serves as a reminder of the unity and strength of the Rio Grande Valley.
In a light-hearted twist, Plummer’s humility and reluctance to talk about himself drew chuckles from the audience, as Darling humorously pointed out that Plummer would make a “lousy politician.” The room erupted in laughter, a testament to the close-knit bonds and admiration for the colonel.
The evening concluded with a round of applause and photographs, marking a day of celebration and recognition for Col. Frank Plummer. His contribution to the community, his vision for honoring veterans, and his stories of valor will continue to inspire generations in the Rio Grande Valley.