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Hometown Heroes: local veteran gives back to those fighting cancer

Dedication that began with fighting for his country, fighting to help his wife during her cancer battle, now Alfredo’s dedication is to help others.
Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 4:02 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - This week, a local Vietnam veteran continues to give back to his country all while paying a loving tribute to his late wife.

After Vietnam, Alfredo Agredano continued to give back working for the Laredo Fire Department, the post office, and served as a council member.

But his marriage of over 30 years with his wife Geraldine was his greatest moment of all.

After losing her to cancer, he continues her legacy by giving back to those affected by cancer themselves.

“Just being with her, and at times I can hear her,” said Alfredo. “I can hear her voice calling my name when I’m home alone. I can hear her calling my name.”

Alfredo puts a plaque with his late wife’s name, Geraldine Valdez-Agredano, on a church bench that sits near their home.

A man dedicated to his family and his late wife, his dedication began with love of his country.

He enlisted in the military and joined the U.S Marine Corp. After training, he was sent overseas to Vietnam, landing the day of our independence.

“All the guys were celebrating July the 4th, they were shooting out rounds and I was scared to death. I thought someone was shooting at us.”

He was discharged in 1970 but his homecoming was bittersweet.

At that time, many in society treated U.S. soldiers and veterans poorly. But the words of a cab driver when Alfredo was about to pay the fee are the words he will always cherish.

“I said, ‘how much is it?’ He said, ‘nothing, nada, and thank you for your service.’ That was the first guy and the only guy who said that, besides my parents.”

Every time he hears our national anthem he’s filled with emotion and pride for serving our country.

“To this day, every time I hear them play the Star Spangled Banner my eyes they get teary because, I know and I understand what that flag means.”

After the military he worked for the Laredo Fire Department and the post office, and it was during his route he met the love of his life.

“She started talking to me and I started talking to her. I mentioned to a friend of mine, that I had met the most beautiful young lady at this address.”

Years went by, they raised 9 children and lived many years happy together, and then one day Geraldine was diagnosed with cancer.

Alfredo cared for her, taking her to treatment.

“She would come home and be very tired. She would be hurting; she wouldn’t want to eat. She would just want to be asleep.”

She passed away in 2016.

Through their grief, the family grouped together to give back.

“We make chemo bags and we give those bags to local hospitals like Doctors Hospital and LMC. The first time we gave away like 30 bags, that was about 4 years ago. This time we gave 60 bags to each hospital. What it consists of is items for people that are going through chemotherapy.”

Dedication that began with fighting for his country, fighting to help his wife during her cancer battle, now Alfredo’s dedication is to help others.

“We’re going to keep on doing it until whenever.”

On Century Drive, a park is named after his beloved where red ribbons are pasted to remember those who fought against cancer.

If you know of a local Hometown Hero that has served in the military, active or veteran, or someone in law enforcement who is giving back to the community, please message us at news8team@kgns.tv.

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