Veterans rights activist passes away

Genaro Garza

He's being called a true American patriot having fought for a veteran's hospital in the Rio Grande Valley since the 1960s.

Family members and Valley veterans are mourning the death of Vietnam veteran Arturo Treto Garza.

The family of 68-year-old Garza said although he did not live long enough to see his dream of having a veteran's hospital built here in the Valley, they hope his legacy will carry on until it becomes a reality.

Garza's wife Irene told Action 4 News he was hospitalized Monday night after complications with his blood pressure.

Those complications eventually caused a fatal stroke.

Word of Garza TMs passing spread quickly and support started flowing in from veterans, friends and even local and state leaders.

Treto's son Genaro Garza said his father was involved in many causes, all which benefitted Valley residents.

"He always wanted to help people, Garza said. He knew who needed the help and that's where he wanted to help concentrate or give his concentration to, it didn't matter what it was and right now he just knows that the veterans in the Valley really need the help in getting the new hospital so that's been his passion for the past 10 years or so."

Irene Garza added that her late husband kept busy and tried helping others as much as possible to keep his mind off the tragedies he saw while serving with the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam war.

Although, she adds, he was never really able to forget them.

Viewing services will be held on Friday from 1 to 9 pm at the Trinity Funeral Home in Harlingen with a rosary at 7 p.m. Friday.

Services will resume at 10 a.m. Saturday followed by burial at Heavenly Grace Memorial Park in La Feria.