People, Places & Events


Congressman Hensarling honors
Kemp veteran
Special to The Monitor
KEMP–U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) honored Kaufman County resident, Major General William A. Becker, a distinguished veteran of World War II and Vietnam.
During a special ceremony in Kemp, Hensarling presented the retired General with remarks from the Congressional Record honoring Becker for his service.
“On behalf of the grateful citizens of the Fifth District of Texas, it is my pleasure to honor the dedicated service and distinguished military career of Maj. Gen. Becker,” Hensarling said.
“It is because of him and his fellow veterans that we are able to enjoy freedom, peace, prosperity, and the many other blessings that God has bestowed upon the United States of America,” he added.
A Kaufman County native, William Becker was born on his family homestead in 1919.
He graduated from Kaufman High School in 1936 and later attended Texas A&M College, where he served as cadet corps commander during his senior year.
Upon graduation in 1941, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant with orders to report within eight days to the First Calvary Division at Fort Bliss.
Becker was then sent to fight in the Southwest Pacific Theater during WWII, and in four years, he advanced in rank to lieutenant colonel.
Maj. Gen. Becker also served in Vietnam and in a variety of other commands and assignments over his distinguished 30-year military career.
His last active duty assignment was to the Pentagon with the Office of the Secretary of the Army, as Chief of Legislative Liaison, working with the United States Congress from 1968-1971.
During his years of service, he earned numerous medals and awards including the Distinguished Service Medal twice, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star.
Upon retirement from the Army, Becker returned to his home community with his wife, Fran, and their four children.
In the early 1970s he established a real estate brokerage and is still active with that business.
He also served as president of the Kaufman-Van Zandt Board of Realtors and director of the Texas Association of Realtors.
President Calvin Coolidge once said, “The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.”
“As a veteran, Gen. Becker understands that better than most. And as a nation at war, it is important for all Americans to remember those who fought to defend us in the past and pray for those still fighting for our freedom today,” Hensarling added.

Special Olympics meet set April 22
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The Mabank Special Olympic delegation will be hosting their sixth annual spring games competition in Mabank Saturday, April 22.
Special Olympic athletes and their coaches from 17 different communities throughout East and Central Texas are scheduled to attend totaling more than 250 competitors.
Since its inception, the event has witnessed an outpouring of tremendous community volunteer support and participation.
This spirit has led to making it a most popular spring games venue for Special Olympic teams throughout East and Central Texas and speaks volumes for the local community.
Once again this year there will be a great need for volunteers to serve as huggers, escorts, starters, recorders and helpers of all kinds to make another enjoyable day for these special needs individuals.
All interested volunteers need merely to check in at the registration desk that morning or call Fran Sonka at (903) 432-4559 for information.
Opening ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at the Mabank High School stadium for all cycling and track and field athletes.
The equestrian competition will begin at 1:30 p.m.. in the Andrew Gibbs Rodeo Arena.
There is an open invitation to the public to attend this special day in the lives of Special Olympic individuals.