(Extensions of Remarks - April 26, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E568]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                           HON. FILEMON VELA

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                         Friday, April 26, 2013

  Mr. VELA. Mr. Speaker, I come before the House of Representatives 
today to honor five young people from Raymondville, Texas. Their 
project, titled ``I Am Raymondville,'' earned them the top prize in the 
Diocese of Brownsville's Mobile Journalist Project, and their work has 
been entered in a national contest.
   Rosa Barrera, Carla Bocanegra, Ralia Cortinas, Jose Trevino, and 
Celyna Vasquez set out to report on life in their community. With the 
assignment to chronicle poverty and homelessness in Raymondville, the 
five students from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish interviewed a bearded 
homeless man who was often seen near the Expressway 77 overpass.
   The students, ranging from sixth graders to a high school junior, 
were impressed by Kent Karl Kauten's warm and friendly manner, and he 
told them he had served in the Vietnam War and was a Navy veteran. 
Kauten was found dead just three days after the interview, and, when 
the student journalists learned that he would be cremated and buried in 
a pauper's grave, they sought to ensure that Kent Karl Kauten's passing 
was honored with a full Catholic funeral mass and a military burial.
   Working with local officials, the five students were able to confirm 
Mr. Kauten's military service and his eligibility for military honors, 
and they raised money to pay for his funeral--often seeking donations 
on the streets. As the students participated in the funeral at Our Lady 
of Guadalupe Church and the burial, they stood in place of his family 
and ensured that the combat veteran was treated with dignity and 
   Rosa, Carla, Ralia, Jose and Celyna set out to chronicle life in 
Raymondville. They saw poverty and homelessness, but they didn't just 
take a snapshot--they made a difference. They recognized a need and 
they stepped in where no one else had to ensure that an American hero 
would not be forgotten. We owe an immense debt of gratitude to our 
nation's veterans who have sacrificed so much, and these dedicated 
young journalists have set an example of kindness and respect that our 
nation should follow.
   Today, I join the City of Raymondville, the State of Texas, and the 
United States Congress in honoring the Our Lady of Guadalupe Mobile