Page 1

22nd District

“The Nation that forgets its Defenders, will itself be forgotten.” San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 1



How quickly it all winds down — it seems just yesterday I was accepting the gavel for what turned out to be two full years as District 22 Commander. My goal at that time was to encourage all members of our American Legion Family to focus on community service, and to try and get out of the posts and into the community. I think we have done well to keep our Legion within San Diego County active and visible. We have done well "fixing up" some of our posts, notably San Dieguito Post 416, thanks to some very hard work and dedicated members.

Are you afraid? Have you refused to accept the presidency of your unit just because you were afraid to preside? If you are guilty of this, you may have deprived your unit of a good leader or yourself of a great and valuable experience. Have you refused to accept a District Chairman or office just because you were afraid? You may have deprived the American Legion Family of a good leader.




So, it is with just a tinge of sadness that I graduate into my new role as Junior Past Commander and turn over District 22 to new and what I expect to be vibrant leadership. We have made great strides in drawing in new and younger members, and we are definitely going in the right direction: we have much to offer our veterans, and we need only to spread the word and inform a new generation of the "Four Pillars" we stand for. There are way too many people for me to thank, for me to try to do so in this short article. This is not by any means "farewell," because I will still be around, and I will

(Continued on Page 3)


We joined the American Legion Auxiliary because of our mission we remain members because of our dedication to uphold our mission. The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary — what a great organization to be part of, as we soon will be entering our second century of making a difference for veterans and their families. Membership is the heart beat of our organization and our brand is our identity. Our brand is not just our emblem, our name, our tagline. Our brand is our promise. It is how the public recognizes us. Our brand is our image. Protect it. Promote it. No other organization is any more alert to present-day problems of American veterans­ and doing something about them in a business-like way — than the American Legion Auxiliary. Let us continue to study and work to become even more efficient. We learn by doing. Don’t be afraid.


Legistative Agenda...........Page 5

Boy State.......................Page 12

Roy Van Orden Tribute.....Page 16

Marine Corps Trials........Page 22

Donna Smith President, American Legion District 22 Auxiliary


2 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY


DISTRICT 22 OFFICERS COMMANDER Desiree Herrera, Post 552 1st VICE COMMANDER Chris Yates, Post 365 2nd VICE COMMANDER Javier Collazo ADJUTANT Ben D. Hyde, Post 255

CHAPLAIN ASSISTANT Anthony Winston, Post 310 SERVICE OFFICER Henry “Bud” Lichtenstern, Post 479 ASSISTANT SERVICE OFFICERS Richard “Sunny” Farrand, Post 434 SERGEANT-AT-ARMS Rick DeVries, Post 255

ADJUTANT ASSISTANT Sherry Hill, Post 434

HISTORIAN Lillian Moss, Post 310

FINANCE OFFICER Annette Grimsley, Post 310

JUDGE ADVOCATE Diane DeVries, Post 255

CHAPLAIN Sam Cummings

San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

JUNIOR PAST COMMANDER Anthony “Tony” Stewart, Post 434

Aerospace Murrill Mccoy, Post 537 Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy R. Mike Thweatt, Post 332 Americanism Maurice Boulanger, Post 434 Assistant: Ann Marie Brown, Post 6 Baseball

See District Commander Boys’ State Tomas Luna, Post 282

Representing Posts: 255, 4343, 468, 492, 820 Curtis Witherspoon, Post 201

Representing Posts: 149, 365, 451, 619, 776 Frank Zugaj, Post 146

Representing Posts: 310, 332, 416, 460, 731 Melissa Johnson, Post 255

Public Relations

Contact District Commander Publishing

Ritual Ted Pasnak, Post 537 Assistant: Ed Grimsley, Post 310

Constitution & By-Laws Ralph Huskey, Post 867

Representing Posts: 146, 275, 364, 537, 625 Mark Parker, Post 460

Oratorical Frank Zugaj, Post 146 Assistant: Americanism Chairman

Representing Posts: 201, 303, 479, 552, 853 Sam Flores, Post 731

Naturalization Ann Marie Pina-Brown, Post 6

Contact District Commander

Assistant: Larry Porter, Post 201

Representing Posts: 6, 258, 282, 867 Wesley Schermann, Post 303

Legislation Hugh “Chip” Dykes, Post 365 Assistant: Steve Arends, Post 434

Children & Youth Roxanne I. Jones, Post 451

Community Service Joe Rush, Post 310


Leadership Harry Woods, Post 255

Counter Subversive Activities Mark Parker, Post 460 Disaster & Emergency Services Wesley Schermann, Post 303 Finance Annette Grimsley, Post 310 Foreign Relations & National Security Jose Payne King, Post 275

Scouting Dwayne Banks, Post 310 Assistant: John B. Kind, Post 731 Sons of The American Legion Edd Robinson, Post 146 Valley Forge Workshop Rob Tade, Post 303 Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation

Contact District Service Officer Veterans Employment Joel Gregg, 201

Assistant: Mike Tegardine, Post 434 Ways & Means

(2nd Vice Commander) Javier Collazo, 365

Housing (Veterans) Jose Payne King, Post 275

American Flag Display & Sales Maggie Mudd, Post 6

Law & Order Rick Devries, Post 255

Blood Donor Frank Zugaj, Post 146


San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 3


GREETINGS FROM THE COMMANDER (Continued from Page 1) find a way to serve and help in any way I can. We have a very quality Executive Committee Board, so I encourage our posts to use the knowledge and experience they have gained over many years of service — and to make use of the knowledge and experience of other American Legion Family groups in District 22. Thanks to everyone for your support. Without your help, I couldn't have made it through two challenging years!

Desiree Herrera, Commander San Diego American Legion District 22

Editor's note: This short bio was printed in an earlier edition of the District 22 newspaper, 22nd District Legionnaire, and seemed worth reprinting in view of her impending transition into a new role as "Junior Past District Commander." Desiree Herrera enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1984 from Milwaukee Wisconsin. She completed Basic Training at Fort Jackson, S.C. and Advanced Individual Training as a medic at both Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas and Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Colorado. The distinguished honor graduate of her class, she chose to return to Texas and serve on active duty at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), the command element over all Army medical facilities in the San Antonio area, including the San Antonio Military Medical Center. While assigned to BAMC Desiree was awarded an Army 'Green to Gold' scholarship, allowing her to earn both a baccalaureate degree in biology and a commission in the U.S. Army. An avid scuba diver she attended college in Tampa, Florida and upon graduation worked as a research biologist studying neurotransmission in the Limulus (horseshoe crab) lateral eye. She attended Officer's school at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana, which is now home to the American Legion John H. Geiger Operations Center and the Legion Emblem Sales Division. As an officer in the Adjutant General Corps, Desiree served in various U.S. Army Reserve Personnel and Transportation Units in Florida and Seattle, Washington, where she worked as a Cancer Biologist. She was called to active duty in 1995 and deployed in support of Operation Joint Endeavor, serving as a Brigade S1 with the 21st Theater Sustainment Command. Her personal military awards include the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Armed Forces Service Medal and Award for Operations Relating to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. Desiree is a paid up for life member of the American Legion and serves as District Commander of the American Legion for San Diego County. She also served two years as the Commander of Pacific Beach Post 552 and two years as President of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 552. She has served on the Pacific Beach Town Council and is an avid Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) volunteer. With over 20 years of experience in life science and an MBA , Desiree is currently the Product Support Manager for Small Molecules and Biochemicals at EMD Millipore in Temecula, California.


VETERAN OWNED BUSINESSES By B.J. Coleman, Public Relations Chairman, Auxiliary Unit 6, & Judge Advocate, California American Legion Press Association

Military veterans return to civilian life with multiple skill sets, which can be effectively redirected into practices linked to private enterprise success. Robert A. Bowen, Jr., is a retired Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel who would like to help those veterans of military service who choose business ownership. Bowen’s post-military career has been for over 30 years in human resources consulting, and now as a Certified FocalPoint Business and Training Coach, he intends to assist by informing and coaching fellow veterans from their military background into successful business focuses. Bowen delivered a brief synopsis talk to the General Meeting of American Legion District 22 on April 9. Bowen is eager to provide lengthier presentations to veterans groups, in order to boost veteran-owned businesses. Bowen noted that military service trains troops to plan and execute in mission-oriented ways that can be translated into strategic business planning and operations. Bowen later agreed to be interviewed about his own veteran-owned business and what he hopes to accomplish for others. Bowen retired from military service in 2004. He only very recently joined The American Legion. With his background, skills and eagerness to help other veterans, he is a very welcome fellow Legionnaire within District 22. But how did Bowen come to join? Bowen said, “I met Bud Lichtenstern at a veterans social event, and we started talking about how I might be able to help other veterans.” Bud Lichtenstern is District 22 Service Officer and also Commander of Poway Post 479. Lichtenstern recruited Bowen to become a Legionnaire at his post. “Bud is easy to talk to,” Bowen continued. “I am happy to be part of his group.” And why hadn’t Bowen joined The American Legion before this? “I didn’t know a lot about it,” Bowen replied. “The American Legion is looked at as a patriotic and service organization generally


and has a positive reputation, but I hadn’t thought about joining.” When questioned further, Bowen responded with a few initial thoughts about what District 22 leaders might do to attract potential members to join. “You should establish an obvious value imperative,” Bowen stated. “You should create excitement about being part of it. You should work toward any potential Legionnaire being able to answer the questions, what do I get out of it, and what is the value of it?” Bowen plans to provide presentations for members of the veterans business community within District 22. He intends to address one question of his own early in this ongoing series of interactions: What are American Legion business owners frustrated about? Bowen has presentations in which he speaks in-depth on one of five basic elements of business analysis and success: clarity; effectiveness; growing a business; sales; leadership. Moreover, Bowen will offer to enter a coaching partnership with any veteran business owner as his client, including training and consultation. “In my experience, veterans have a greater tendency to lead,” Bowen said. “Civilians are prone to manage a business rather than lead it. I am looking for clients who want to move their businesses to the next level. Having a coach provides accountability to a business owner. I am looking for clients who know what to do and are willing to do it.” Bowen gives specific guidance for the areas of revenue growth, time management, strategic planning, and sales training. He assesses each business he provides consultation with identification of where the particular business in the four-stage business life cycle, from start-up, through growth, decline, and reinvestment. His objective in advising veteran-owned enterprises, he describes as “turning visions into reality.” District 22 leaders are planning to host a veteran business owners conference during the summer of 2017, where experts like Bowen will provide advice and assistance to fellow veterans about achieving greater private sector results in their specific business endeavors.

4 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

C OM M I S SION S , C OM M I T T E E S A N D C HA I R M A N S (Continued from Page 2) Distinguished Guests

Trial Board Robert H. Juers, Post 853

(Junior Past Commander) Anthony "Tony" Stewart, Post 434 Trial Board Members

Inter-Post Relations

(Total Of 3 Past Commanders) As Assigned

Contact District Commander Military Affairs Manny Otero, Post 434

40/8 Liaison Charles E. “Chuck” Camarato, Post 731

New Posts Eugene “Gene” Michonski, Post 364

American Legion Riders’ Liaison Paul "Roadblock" Patricio

San Diego County American Legion

Veterans, we honor and salute you.

Posts' Activities

(First Vice Commander) Chris Yates, Post 365

Convention Housing Javier Collazo, Post 365

Religious Emphasis Samuel Cummings, Post 310

Garage Crew Liaison

POW/MIA Raymond Johnson, Post 365

Heroes To Hometowns Richard “Sunny” Farrand, Post 434


(1st Vice Commander) Chris Yates, Post 365

Speakers Bureau Anthony "Tony" Stewart, Post 434

It is USC’s civic obligation to offer resources and economic pathways to those who have provided extraordinary service for our nation.

Fat h er of Di s t r ic t 2 2 L e g ion n a i r e

ROD VAN ORDEN, POST 6 22nd District

Published quarterly by

SAN DIEGO COUNTY AMERICAN LEGION DISTRICT 22 c/o Adjutant 7245 Linda Vista Road | San Diego, CA 92111 Phone: (619) 46SDVET (467-3838) | Email: DISTRICT COMMANDER Desiree Herrera (Post 552) DISTRICT ADJUTANT Ben Hyde (Post 255) EDITOR Ben Hyde (Post 255)


Programs such as:


• Schoen Family Scholarship Program for Veterans Endowment • School of Social Work Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families For more information visit:

for the veteran community of Southern California.


San Diego County American Legion C OM M I S SION S , C OM M I T T E E S A N D C HA I R M A N S (Continued from Page 4)

Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 5

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”


Operation Comfort Warriors Richard “Sunny” Farrand, Post 434


ROTC Chris Yates, Post 365

By John Raughter

Troop Support Services (Ts2) Manny Otero, Post 434 Va Hospital Bingo Activities

Contact District Commander Veterans Parade Activities Ron Harrell, 460 Veterans Stand Down Andrew Pryor, 255

Assistant: Tere Beckman, 434 Webmaster See Public Relations Audit Board

(3 Members) In Accordance With Bylaws Contact District Commander Resolutions

Past District Commanders Steering

Past District Commanders Publication Oversight Committee

As Assigned Chair Waldo “Joe” Brunner, Post 275

George Simons, Post 146 Bruce Mackamul, Post 365 Richard “Sunny” Farrand, Post 434

Weaving in The American Legion’s 2017 legislative priorities into a narrative of the organization’s 98-year history, National Commander Charles E. Schmidt skillfully led Legion testimony before a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs committees. “Nearly117,000 Americans gave their lives to successfully liberate Europe. Among our ranks, they are never forgotten,” Schmidt said of World War I veterans. “The American Legion was born of this generation, which inspires us and our legislative agenda today just five weeks away from the 100th anniversary of U.S. entry into the war that was supposed to end all wars. But it didn’t …The American Legion’s legislative agenda, in a new era of global war, bears many resemblances to that of our first generation.” Schmidt added that those priorities include “compassionate treatment for service-connected mental health conditions, defined as ‘shell shock’ or ‘combat fatigue’ at the time, now known as ‘post-traumatic stress disorder.’” House VA Committee Chairman Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tennessee) praised the Legion for its expertise and monitoring of the Department of Veterans Affairs. “We ask that The American Legion remain engaged in visiting and reporting on what is happening at the local level with VA facilities,” said Roe, who is a physician and Legionnaire. “Please continue to keep Congress informed about the veteran experience, especially with regard to disability claim processing and the delivery of health care from VA and non-VA providers in the community. Your System Worth Saving task force has been invaluable as we address the challenges facing VA.” Referring to the wait-time manipulation scandals of 2014, Schmidt said, “At one point in the not-so-distant past, for instance, quality was the prevailing problem at VA, not access. So we all worked together to turn VA into what is now described by its patients and most experts as ‘the best care anywhere.’ An unpredicted result of higher VA quality, in many areas, became the long line to get appointments. Easing access to care is now VA’s prevailing


problem, and there is no reason we cannot achieve a solution by working together, as we have before.” Sen. Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) opened the hearing with an important assurance to The American Legion. “We don’t want to privatize the VA,” Tillis said. “I want to underscore that. Anyone here who tells you that this chair or any member of this committee is intent on privatizing VA is not right.” Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minnesota) offered some bipartisan agreement. “It’s disinformation and disingenuous to talk about people wanting to privatize VA,” he said. “We want to fix it. We want to modernize it. We want to make sure that we deliver the care where the veteran needs it but with an understanding of the core mission that VA needs to be there.” Schmidt continued the Legion’s push to modernize the veterans appeals process, which if left alone will cause veterans to have to wait 10 years by 2027 to have an appeal decided. “No one should have to wait a decade for an answer from VA. As our American Legion social media hashtag campaign states, ‘veterans deserve better.’ I am asking now for your support to pass a VA appeals modernization bill.” VA was not the only topic on the table. Recalling The American Legion’s Flag Conference of 1923, which changed the course of history, Schmidt told lawmakers, “The American Legion will not budge on its reverence for our flag, supported by over 80 percent of the public, and asks once again: ‘Will you please pass a constitutional amendment to return to Congress the power to protect the United States flag from physical desecration?' It is not, as the Supreme Court narrowly determined in a 5-4 vote, an act of free speech. It is behavior. It’s intentional desecration, which can incite violence, and defies everything our nation stands for.” With the Legion's centennial rapidly approaching, Schmidt reminded the committee members that legislation is being drafted for the U.S. Mint to strike a commemorative coin and issue a U.S. postage stamp. “We would be honored to count on your support for both the coin and the stamp, in tribute not so much to The American Legion as a branded veterans service organization, but to The American Legion as a symbol of democracy, liberty, fairness and opportunity.”

6 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”



San Diego County American Legion

Do you know someone over 55 years of age who is struggling to live independently due to chronic medical issues? St. Paul’s Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) can help.

By Lee Quarcelino, Commander, Borrego Springs Post 853

"Where the heck is Borrego springs American Legion 853?” Located in San Diego County on the east side of the county in the lower desert, we have over 300 members, including a lot of "snowbirds" and members who live on the west side of the Mountains, the cool side. We are known as the hottest Legion Post in California. We have our Auxiliary Unit, Sons of the American Legion and our American Legion Riders, which are all active and do more than their share when it comes to helping out.

We have provided free medical and social care to hundreds of San Diego seniors so they can continue to live safely at home rather than move to skilled nursing. We provide medical, therapy, home care, social activities, transportation and so much more. So if you know anyone over 55 who has chronic medical conditions and is struggling to live at home, please call us. We can help.

Our other fame to claim is our RV park. We have 11 full hookups with concrete pads, picnic tables, with 50 and 30 amp, and we can accommodate large rigs, for a price of $25.00 a night. We also have dry camping for $5.00 a night. Shower and restroom facilities are included. During the winter, we have hamburger night on Wednesdays. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, we have dinner along with some kind of entertainment. We are open from 2:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and on Fridays through Sundays, from 11:00 a.m.

Veterans Welcome.

Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (619) 677-3800 Hearing impaired may call (800) 735-2992

Please call us at (760) 767-4000 for reservations and info on dinners!


St. Paul’s PACE is a free program for those with Medi-Cal and no share-of-cost.


San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 7


By B.J. Coleman, Public Relations Chairman, Auxiliary Unit 6, & Judge Advocate, California American Legion Press Association


Food and shelter are the most basic human needs. Homelessness among military veterans is a continuing problem that has evaded lasting solution. But how much of a problem is lack of food among military and former military?

Dan Sutton, an associate with Us 4 Warriors, has worked on this program for around a year and a half. He said that these food distribution events are put together every month, rotating among sites around San Diego County.

Food insecurity is the phrase for going hungry or lacking sufficient food for health and wellness. Expert analysts of food insecurity in America say that veterans of military service are at almost double the risk of hunger of that among the general population. These difficult challenges of not having enough food also extend to active-duty troops and their families. Defense Department officials have noted that food pantries operate on nearly all Navy and Marine Corps military bases. Why does this happen to those who’ve dedicated a portion of their lives to protecting and defending the country and their fellow citizens? For veterans, a significant factor involves service-connected disabilities and the concomitant lengthy wait times for processing of disability claims from the Veterans Administration. For those currently serving, causes include low pay among lower-ranking service members, high levels of unemployment for military spouses, large family households, and financial problems associated with reassignments and deployments. A response to this situation has arrived within San Diego County’s District 22 through an effort known as Food 4 Warriors, over a year in operation under the umbrella of nonprofit charity Us 4 Warriors. This worthy charitable endeavor was organized by Legionnaires. In January, Food 4 Warriors staged an hour of food distribution at Chula Vista’s American Legion Post 434. Volunteers, many of them active-duty sailors, helped with assembling large grocery bags full of nutritious food and carrying the bags to vehicles of recipients of the food assistance. (Continued on Page 8)

El Cajon Food Assistance Recipients — Two military-connected women with a baby named Avenger, happy after receiving food aid from Food 4 Warriors at the first distribution event in East San Diego County.

Memorial Day.

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Military Families Receiving Food Assistance — Military family members being assisted to their vehicle with bags of nutritious food assembled and provided by Food 4 Warriors.

8 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

M I L I TA RY FA M I L I E S R E C E I V E AS SI S TA N C E (Continued from Page 7) The March food distribution was hosted by members of El Cajon Elks Lodge #1812. Around 20 military-connected families signed up for the help. The family of a disabled quadriplegic veteran in Spring Valley was slated to receive a food delivery in the afternoon. This was the first-ever East County distribution that Food 4 Warriors staged. A total of 95 people received food through the East County event. Tony Stewart is CEO and president of Us 4 Warriors. Stewart is also American Legion District 22’s Junior Past Commander. Stewart expressed appreciation for expanding the network of supporting service organizations beyond Legion Posts, saying, “We’re really happy to have gained this partnership with the Elks in El Cajon. The warmth that has been shown to us from the get-go has been wonderful. Don leaped at the opportunity to support us in staging this first-ever effort in East County. The Elks are an outstanding organization.” During the afternoon after the March distribution concluded, Stewart received a phone call from an active-duty family in which the mother had been ill, and struggling with three special-needs children. Two are autistic; the youngest has been hospitalized repeatedly with respiratory problems including pneumonia. Stewart took them grocery shopping. “Despite the Food 4 Warriors food drop being over, we just couldn’t leave this family hanging,” Stewart said. “We were able enough this time to provide them with enough groceries to sustain themselves for a few weeks.” At the January distribution, Jocelyn Bimatulac, with her seven-month-old daughter Za’nyah on one arm, agreed to talk about what a “big help” this program has been to her family of seven. Her first time receiving the food aid came in December. Her husband, a former machinist mate, recently retired from the Navy and hadn’t yet landed a new job. The family moved from military base housing to an apartment in the Mission Gorge area. “This has been very tough for us,” Bimatulac said. “This program is such a blessing. This helps families, and I am so grateful.” She further explained that her all her children, triplets 12 years old and a seven-yearold son and the baby, need a healthy diet that incorporates fresh fruit and produce. “Anyone who needs help should come. This is not only for veterans but also for active duty. I’m so glad, so happy to get here.”

(Continued on Page 9)

Volunteer Corey Gadson — Model volunteer Corey Gadson, who assists Us 4 Warriors Foundation in various capacities, with food drop bags of groceries outside Chula Vista American Legion Post 434. Photo by B.J. Coleman


San Diego County American Legion

San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 9

M I L I TA RY FA M I L I E S R E C E I V E AS SI S TA N C E (Continued from Page 8) Free Garden Classes On Saturdays!

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Walter Andersen Nursery would like to take this opportunity to thank veterans and their families for their service.

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The grocery bags at the Chula Vista Post 434 distribution, for example, were filled with such pantry items as apples, applesauce, crackers, juices, pasta, rice, muffin and cake mixes, and canned beans. Barry Baron is a retired Navy photographer who volunteers in support of the food assistance program. The effort partners with Feeding San Diego and the Knights of Columbus. The donated food varies each month. Baron related that other distributions have given out produce such as avocados, pears and melons. The fruits are “seconds” but nonetheless nutritious. Leftover perishables are donated to other veterans assistance facilities. One volunteer, Matt Farotte, is on active duty with the Navy, and he has been working at these events since last fall. “This is wonderful for active duty and veterans,” Farotte stated. “What Tony has done is outstanding as help to people in need. What a great cause, this is really good.” Sign-up for the food distribution is online, providing anonymity for those on active duty who might otherwise hesitate to ask for help that could become known within their chain of command. More information on upcoming monthly food distribution sites is available online at the website | Facebook: WalterAndersens

Our Pledge of Allegiance to Veterans VITAS is committed to serving those who served America. We have developed specialized services to meet those needs: • e VITAS team is trained to assess veteran specific issues—we offer assistance navigating the VA system and coordinating Medicare benefits • Telecare service ensures patients and families have around-the-clock access to skilled clinicians • To assure appropriate final respects, VITAS may assist in the planning of military memorials

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Food 4 Warriors Principals — Volunteers supporting the Food 4 Warriors assistance to military service members on Friday, March 24, at the El Cajon Elks Lodge, from left, are stand-up comedian Will C, Us 4 Warriors CEOPresident Tony Stewart, and Us 4 Warriors associate Dan Sutton. These supporters of help for active duty military, veterans and their families were present for the first-ever food drop staged by the organization in East County.


10 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

San Diego County American Legion

DI S T R IC T 2 2

SERVICE OFFICER SPRING TRAINING from Department of California Service Officer By Henry “Bud” Lichtenstern, Service Officer, District 22

On Saturday March 25, District 22 had very informative training on VA Benefits. Our State Department Service Officer Scott McKee provided comprehensive training on a number of the benefits that we have earned from our service to country. In regards to applying for VA Benefits, I would like to remind everyone about the important documents you need in order to apply. Important Documents: Veterans seeking a VA benefit for the first time need a certified copy of their service discharge form (DD-214, DD-215, or for World War II Veterans, a WD form), which documents service dates and type of discharge, or provides full name, military service number, and branch and dates of service. The Veteran’s service discharge form should be kept in a safe location accessible to the Veteran and next of kin or designated representative. The following additional documents will be needed for claims processing: 1. Veteran’s marriage certificate if applicable 2. Dependent Children Birth Certificate or adoption papers 3. Divorce Decree if applicable The following documents including the discharge papers will be needed for claims processing related to a Veteran’s death: 1. Veteran’s marriage certificate for claims of a surviving spouse or children. 2. Veteran’s death certificate if the Veteran did not die in a VA health care facility. 3. Children’s birth certificates or adoption papers to determine children’s benefits. 4. Veteran’s birth certificate to determine parents’ benefits.

For our area: *VA San Diego Healthcare System 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92161 Phone: (858) 552-8585 *Oceanside Clinic 1300 Rancho del Oro Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056 Phone: (760) 643-2000 There is support for the Military Caregiver as well: The Department of Defense (DOD) provides resources and information exclusively for military caregivers who assist wounded, ill and/or injured Service members with activities of daily living. DOD’s Military Caregiver Support includes the Military Caregiver PEER Forum Initiative (Personalized Experiences, Engagement, and Resources), the Caregiver Resource Directory, monthly Military Caregiver Virtual Forums, as well as Military Caregiver webinars, events and specialized resources. Of particular interest to Military Caregivers is the DOD Caregiver Resources Guide: The Defense Department’s Office of Warrior Care has compiled a Caregiver Resource Directory specifically for the caregivers of recovering service members. It includes contact information on more than 300 supportive governments and nonprofit organizations. The directory is sorted by the most common, everyday needs, and is available in print and downloadable electronic versions. As always, I and my Post Service Officers stand by to serve you.

Caring for Your Warrior: Additionally, I would like to touch base on this subject, which, unfortunately, I am increasingly discussing with veterans and their family members. Caregiver Services: The VA has a number of services designed specifically to support a Family Caregiver, including support and service options designed with a family caregiver in mind. The programs are available both in and out of the house to help family members care for the Veteran they love. Caregiver Support Line: Asking for help can be very difficult, particularly if you are not sure what kind of support you need. Fortunately, the VA-trained professionals can help you find the services and support that are right for you and the Veteran you care for. If you're just getting started with VA, calling the Caregiver Support Line is a great first step to take to learn more about the support that's available to you. VA Caregiver Support Line: 1-855-260-3274 toll-free Caregiver Support Coordinator: Your local Caregiver Support Coordinator is a licensed professional who can support you by matching you with services for which you are eligible, and providing you with valuable information about resources that can help you stay smart, strong and organized as you care for the Veteran you love.


San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 11


MILITARY MEMORIAL INVENTORY PROJECT By Chris Yates, 1st Vice Commander, District 22


As The American Legion nears its centennial year as an organization, the currently serving National Commander, Charles E. Schmidt, is calling on all posts, districts, counties, areas, zones, departments and affiliates of the organization to help build an unparalleled database of memorials and monuments that honor U.S. military service and sacrifice. The database can be found at

Fallbrook American Legion Post 776, the youngest Post within San Diego County’s District 22, is sending the Post’s first young man to the Boys State weeklong exercise in participatory civics during late June. Nathan Carner, at left, is a 16-year-old junior in high school. Frank Witter, Lt. Col. USMC (Retired), shown with Carner, is the sponsor who paid for young Carner’s trip fees and expenses for the journey to Sacramento. Witter himself was a Boys Stater 50 years ago. Fallbrook Post 776 Commander Lora Wood described Witter’s gift as a “generous donation.” Photo courtesy of Bill Howard

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With the Legion’s memorials database project, it is important to assess the condition of each of these memorials — whether it’s a plaque in the park listing a county’s war dead or a well-known community statue or plaza. What better way to commemorate the Legion’s centennial than to spruce up, repair and revive awareness of those who served before us, whose memorials and monuments may be showing the effects of age and weather? It’s also the perfect time for communities to reacquaint themselves with the meaning of their memorials. The American Legion Memorial Inventory Project is not focused on any one-war era. We know that Legion posts care for memorials ranging from the American Revolution to the Global War on Terrorism, all around the world. In order to ensure their continued respect and protection, we have to index them and bring attention to their original and intended meaning. The web platform asks for the location of the memorial, a description, date of installation (if known) and a rating of its condition. Up-loaders are also strongly encouraged to take photos of the memorial and post them onto the database. In virtually every corner of the country, and beyond our shores, Legion Family members have paid tribute to military service, honor and remembrance by carving out sacred spaces in their communities to ensure that the price paid for freedom is not lost on future generations. One of the latest monuments dedicated in San Diego County is found in Vista, California. This poignant monument was dedicated on 24 April 2016. Nearly 47 years after Marine Pvt. Ernie Pinamonti was killed in Vietnam by small arms fire, "Ernie's Place" was finally dedicated. For five years, two of Ernie's six siblings, Mary Ann and Rico Pinamonti, have worked with the City of Vista to create a park, donated to the city by the Pinamonti family, which honors not only their brother's heroism and sacrifice, but also that of many others who fought and died in the Vietnam War. The centerpiece of Veterans Memorial Park, built on a narrow one-acre site at South Santa Fe Avenue near East Broadway in Vista, California, is a bronze statue of Ernie by a reflecting pond, reading a letter from home. The statue is surrounded by walls and walkways embedded with porcelain tiles that were engraved with dozens of letters from Vietnam written by Ernie and others. The park is located on South Santa Fe Avenue near East Broadway in Vista, California 92084.


12 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

E N C I N I TAS A M E R IC A N L E G ION P O S T 4 1 6 A N N O U N C E S

BOYS STATE DELEGATE By Mary Jane Whitler-Fisher, Media & Communications Officer, American Legion Post 416


The San Dieguito American Legion Post 416 located in downtown Encinitas announced that Cole Gonzales, a junior at San Dieguito Academy, was selected to be its delegate to 2017 American Legion Boys State. California Boys State will be held in June of this year at the California State University Sacramento campus. The Encinitas Post funds the scholarship, which pays for its delegate’s tuition, lodging, and travel expenses. Cole Gonzales is a Carlsbad resident, is active in forensics at San Dieguito Academy, was active in the YMCA Youth and Government program, and the Model United Nations Club. Earlier this year, Cole organized a school trip to Washington, DC, for 15 San Dieguito Academy students, to attend the Presidential Inauguration. Seth Rossiter, a Santa Fe Christian High School junior was selected as the alternate delegate, and San Dieguito Academy juniors Zachary Lewis and Klaus Neyer were finalists in the selection process. All three young men are Carlsbad residents and have a GPA in excess of 4.0 (A average). American Legion Boys State is a unique week-long summertime educational program that does not emphasize classroom lectures and textbook learning. Instead, it focuses on participation and personal experience in a model state, complete with governing bodies and elected public officials. It is designed to mirror the structure and operation of California state government. The American Legion believes there is no better way to assure the survival of our republic than to train our young people in the ideals and objectives of American Government. Boys State is designed to supplement the information taught in high school civics classes. It is an activity born out of a need for youth training in practical citizenship, leadership and to instill a working knowledge of the structure and operation of government.


San Diego County American Legion

San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 13

DI S T R IC T 2 2 ' S G R E AT LY A DM I R E D

ANN MARIE BROWN Steps Down from District Americanism Chairmanship

By B.J. Coleman, Public Relations Chairman, Auxiliary Unit 6, & Judge Advocate, California American Legion Press Association

All good things eventually come to an end. But within The American Legion Family, the conclusion of an impressively longtime unbroken record of excellent service -- and always with distinction and honor -- must come with pangs. At the General Meeting of District 22 on April 9, 2017, Ann Marie Brown announced to the gathered Legionnaires that the April 26 Nationalization Ceremony was to be her last during her service chairing the Naturalization Committee for the 22nd District. The ceremonies are hosted at downtown San Diego’s Golden Hall in the City Concourse. Featured keynote speaker at the last event with Brown chairing was Hugh E. Crooks, Jr., Past Department Commander. Crooks delivered prior memorable addresses to newly welcomed United States citizens in 2012 and 2016. Ann Marie Brown noted that The American Legion’s District 22 is the only District within the Department of California that has been actively involved with sponsoring immigration ceremonies continuously for over 50 years. She also described how District 22 further serves new fellow citizens with English as a second language programs. Ann Marie Brown’s last acknowledgement for her record of service was accorded on the morning of Saturday, February 20, 2016, as Brown was honored with a Certificate of Recognition for 50 years of service to The American Legion. The award was made at Ann Marie Brown’s home Post, San Diego American Legion Post 6. She is a Past Post 6 Commander over multiple years. As a dual Member, she is Junior Past Auxiliary Unit 6 President. She was named California Legionnaire of the Year in 2008. Brown discussed her long record of service in an interview. She said that she came from a family whose members had been active in local politics, and some of them served in political office in Maine. When she became a volunteer with The American Legion, instead of entering the realm of the organization’s politics to seek a leadership office, she focused her efforts on programs the Legion sponsors. For District 22, Brown has chaired the Naturalization Committee and the Americanism Committee. She has further been a longtime supporter of Children & Youth programs, including the Girls State program for promising young women to learn the American system of government. Brown has reflected on the changing attitudes toward women as leaders among military and veterans ranks. She described a maturing appreciation for women’s service, “Women Legionnaires are taking a more active part in leadership at this time. This is a marked change from when women were placed in clerical and token positions. Women are accepted by peers as veterans and will continue to advance.”

AMR honors all those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.


14 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

San Diego County American Legion

A M E R IC A N L E G ION P O S T 3 0 3

CELEBRATES MEMBER HONORED AS FIRST-EVER EL CAJON VETERAN OF THE YEAR By B.J. Coleman, Public Relations Chairman, Auxiliary Unit 6, & Judge Advocate, California American Legion Press Association


American Legion Posts within District 22 can cite Members with impressive records of service beyond their military careers. But El Cajon Post 303 Legionnaires have special cause to celebrate their comrade Raymond L. Moody, who was honored as the first-ever El Cajon Veteran of the Year. Members of the El Cajon City Council presented the award to Moody during the regular council meeting on the afternoon of Tuesday, December 13. El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells spoke briefly, outlining Moody’s record of service and achievement, before showing Moody’s name as the first engraved on the permanent El Cajon Veteran of the Year plaque. Moody is an active member of El Cajon American Legion Post 303, which nominated him to receive the first Veteran of the Year award. And Moody still pipes announcements on his Boatswain’s pipe for Legion Post activities, piping the “Attention, All Hands,” call to begin meetings. He also serves the Post as assistant chaplain. At 90 years of age, Moody is still active and healthy, and he is still a veteran serving other veterans, spending time each day at Miramar National Cemetery to assist grieving family members of military veterans. Moody served in the U.S. Navy for 23 years, retiring in 1966 as a Chief Boatswain’s Mate. His active-duty career spanned the major conflicts of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He has been an El Cajon resident for three decades. “It’s an honor to be here,” Moody said in introductory remarks during the presentation ceremony. “I am the only surviving member of the 500 shipmates I served with, as far as I know.” Moody described his reaction to the honor, “It’s very hard to believe this is happening. I just wish my wife, Barbara, could be here.” Barbara passed away a little over three years ago, and she inspires his continuing volunteer activities. Barbara Moody was also a Navy veteran, laid to eternal rest at Miramar National Cemetery. “Six of us who lost spouses get together every day at Miramar. We pray and cry together,” Moody continued. “Barbara and I were married for 67 years, two months.

Every moment with her was precious. I told her that.” Moody translates his own grieving back into service to others experiencing such loss. “I was just a plain old country boy from Mansfield, Missouri,” he said. He further observed that he is “overwhelmed with compassion” for other people he encounters at Miramar National Cemetery. His “staunch Christian” religious faith is a mainstay in his life, he stated. “I had two good, marvelous careers,” Moody recounted. After retiring from the Navy, he became a civil servant with the Department of the Navy. His title was chief of physical security specialist and crime prevention officer. He worked at the 32nd Street Naval Station, with particular tasking to provide safety advice to women and children while their husbands and fathers were deployed. He retired from that position when he was 65, and he and Barbara spent about 10 years traveling around the country. A year and a half ago, Moody participated in the Wreaths Across America effort, purchasing $500 of wreaths to grace the graves of veterans. “American Legion El Cajon Post 303 takes great pride in counting Chief Boatswain’s Mate Ray Moody among our membership,” stated Wayne P. Clark, Junior Past Commander of Post 303, in nomination papers for Moody to be selected. According to Rob Tade, adjutant for Post 303, the City of El Cajon Veterans’ Commission recommended creation of the annual Veteran of the Year award, and the city council approved the action. The person so honored must be a military veteran and resident of El Cajon. Moody received further acknowledgement and recognitions during the ceremony from Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and Congresswoman Susan Davis, from the veterans’ commission and from Post 303. Wes Schermann, Commander of El Cajon American Legion Post 303, noted that when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 occurred, Moody attempted to reenlist but was told he was too old. Moody said that he had both wonderful and awful experiences while in the Navy. He traversed the Panama Canal three times and sailed around the world three times. However, in Moody’s view, “The Gestapo and the Japanese, especially the kamikazes, were terrible.” He witnessed the aftermath of wartime atrocities committed against prisoners by the Japanese. “We took no prisoners,” he said. “This wasn’t the people, though. They didn’t know what was being done.”


El Cajon American Legion Post 303 Commander Wes Schermann, at right, presenting a Certificate of Appreciation from Post 303 to Don Sauter, Exalted Ruler 2016-2017 of El Cajon Elks Lodge #1812. The certificate was presented at the Lodge’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, Award and Dance on March 17. The appreciation was delivered to acknowledge the Elks’ past support to Post 303 by allowing use of the Lodge Room for the Post’s Oratorical Contest and Boys State interviews. Photo courtesy of Wes Schermann

San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”


Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 15


By B.J. Coleman, Public Relations Chairman, Auxiliary Unit 6, & Judge Advocate, California American Legion Press Association


The American Legion is a resolutions-based organization, serving to voice the legislative priorities of 2 million American veterans and service members into the attention of elective officeholders. The American Legion’s National Commander Charles Schmidt has an ambitious agenda in mind to recommend for consideration during the 1st Session of the 115th Congress, based on the major concerns his Legionnaires have nationwide. Members of California’s American Legion Family of organizations were in attendance at meetings on Capitol Hill in Washington DC early this year, to gather information from Congressional Representatives and Senators about their knowledge of military veteran priorities that national legislative action can address. District 22 affiliates at this event included Wes Schermann, District 22 Executive Committee Member and Commander of El Cajon Post 303, and Susie Tozier, President of San Diego Auxiliary Unit 6, and Past Department of California Auxiliary President 2015-2016. Ed Grimsley, Alternate National Executive Committeeman, also from District 22, was there as well. Wes Schermann described the two-day event as impressive. On the second day, National American Legion Commander Charles Schmidt spoke before a Joint Session of Congress. As the bicameral representatives introduced themselves, many stated their membership in a specific American Legion Post in the home state they represent. Schermann noted, further, that these elected representatives asked pointed, wellformulated questions rather than “softballs,” and that the American Legion National Commander and his staffers responded with specific answers. Schermann said that the staffer knowledge was comprehensive. Schermann came away with distinct impressions from the event. “The dues we pay as Legionnaires are well worth it,” he said. “Members of Congress listen to The American Legion.” The top issues that The American Legion recommends for action in 2017 are these: – Fully fund a superior national defense as the global war on terror continues; – Limit outsourcing, unify VA’s programs; – Institute gender-specific health care for women veterans; – Develop alternative treatments, therapies for PTSD, TBI; – Reclassify cannabis for medical research; – Support those who care for wounded veterans; – Provide mandatory end-of--service exams for reservists; – Repeal unfair offsets that penalize disabled veterans and widows; – Protect student veterans from predatory schools; – Ensure those returning from active duty retain re-employment rights; – Support veteran-owned small businesses; – Continue funding programs to end veterans homelessness; – Create an American Legion Commemorative Coin; – Protect the American Flag.


16 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

San Diego County American Legion


ROD VAN ORDEN, PAST DISTRICT 22 COMMANDER By B.J. Coleman, Public Relations Chairman, Auxiliary Unit 6, & Judge Advocate, California American Legion Press Association

Another of Rod’s goals was to work for betterment of The American Legion by identifying and tapping unrecognized veteran talent among Legionnaires and other American Legion Family organizations -- to bring aboard and encourage forward into leadership roles those with great promise who had been heretofore overlooked for not being part of the “old boy’s network.” Rod also wanted to loosen up practices and procedures to overcome the mindset “we’ve never done it that way before.” He really wanted to set the stage, gradually, for the younger veterans he’d served with during Desert Shield/Desert Storm to bring fresh thinking and approaches ahead for the good of the Legion.

Rod Van Orden lost his last valiant battle with life-threatening illnesses on Saturday, October 1, 2016. Rod was Past District 22 American Legion Commander 2012-2013. He was also my husband of 14 years. District 22 already misses him, for the projects he led that until-now go unequaled. Of course, I miss him too. We were the best of friends and good companions. I was Rod’s second wife; he was my first husband. Rod had no children. He is also survived by his brother, Ross Van Orden. Some of the best, most meaningful times Rod and I shared together were in service to The American Legion. Rod’s closest friends in the Legion and I intend to honor his legacy and commitment to the good of the Legion here on earth. Undoubtedly, Rod continues his service “For God and Country” in Post Everlasting. That’s the kind of man Rod was, and that part of his character must persist as he has carried his soul into eternity in the presence of God. For one lasting accomplishment he achieved, Rod was originator of this publication, 22nd District Legionnaire. During comradeship after Department of California Convention meetings in 2012, Rod’s good friend and fellow Legionnaire Rees Lloyd explained to Rod how a newspaper like this was benefiting his District. Rod had been interested in publications beforehand, and he followed through on the project. Rod’s thinking was that money earned from this publication would fill the annual budget gap that District 22 usually struggled to overcome in order to pay for each July Stand Down serving homeless veterans. Rod also believed that this publication could better bring together the American Legion Family organizations, and could become a valuable resource for outreach to non-member veterans — and to the community beyond veterans -- in relaying what programs San Diego’s District 22 offers.

Ben Hyde, Adjutant for District 22, also served as Adjutant during Rod’s District 22 Commandership. Ben reflected on his memories, saying, “I remember telling him at about the time he was working on getting the newspaper underway, that what struck me about Rod is his willingness to try new things, be open to new ideas, all part of an effort to make the Legion more relevant and appealing for the younger veteran. For very many years before him, I've heard this constant refrain, that ‘this is the way we've always done things,’ stifling imagination and new ideas. Rod wouldn't have that. I think this willingness to bring our District into the 21st century has continued since his tenure as Commander, much to the betterment of the Legion.” Rod served for many years on various Parade Committees, including for District 22. Every time Rod organized a parade, he brought together many posts from throughout the 22nd District for the events he assisted with staging. His open, welcoming embrace in bringing many American Legion Family organizations completely and happily together as representatives of the American Legion Family for each parade was a model example. Rod began his military career as an Air Force ROTC cadet at Loyola Marymount College. He served as American Legion point of contact and for delivery of honors for JROTC and ROTC over several years because of that connection. He has been ably followed by his very good and close comrade District 22 First Vice Commander Chris Yates in that endeavor. Perhaps a harbinger that Rod’s health had descended to a more seriously life-threatening level was his near-collapse at the June 2016 Department Convention. He spent several hours in a Fresno emergency room, and then rested in the hotel for the remainder of the convention. During Rod’s early years volunteering while in college, he earned a nickname, “Rod the Bod.” That wasn’t for physique. Instead that was about Rod being reliable to show


up for events when he was called on. Rod was “the bod” who could be counted on to be there. And Rod showed up for as long as he could. Even when he was experiencing pain, Rod was there. The funeral service for Rod was conducted on the morning of Tuesday, October 18, 2016, at Miramar National Cemetery. Presiding chaplain was Anthony Winston, American Legion District 22 Assistant Chaplain. Anthony Winston had ministered to Rod during his fight to live in his final bout of illness. Current and past District 22 officers and longtime close friends served as pallbearers. Rod’s work colleagues from San Diego Police Department attended the service in respect for their former co-worker. Many Legionnaires and Auxiliary members from District 22 were there. The service was conducted with military honors. A month later, companion services of an Elks Memorial and American Legion Celebration of Life were held at the El Cajon Elks Lodge, where Rod not long before his death had become a member. Those memorial services were led, alternately, by an Elks District officer, Chaplain Anthony Winston and District 22 First Vice Commander Chris Yates. In remembering Rod, his brother Ross noted, “My brother was a fighter. He fought for his country. He fought for liberty. He fought for his friends. And until the end Rod fought for his life.” Rod served on active duty with the Air Force from 1978 through 1983. He subsequently transferred his officer’s commission as Lieutenant to the Naval Reserves. Rod worked for the San Diego Police Department for over 26 years in data systems after his military career ended. Rod put together his own retirement ceremony in May 2015, inviting his very good friends from all the endeavors that were meaningful to him. I joked to Harry Woods, District 22 Past Commander 20132014, at the party, “This is actually Rod’s wake. He didn’t trust any of us to organize it.” But he did get to enjoy it. When Rod took his turn at the podium to speak that night, he said he planned an active retirement, with continuing service to the Legion and returning to hobbies he’d let idle. One vacation item he noted he’d be pursuing, though. Rod said if friends missed him and wanted to look for him, they would find him naked, on a warm, sandy beach, drinking mojitos. Heaven must offer a lot more than that. But when we all get there, we’ll know where to look for Rod.

San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”


Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 17

18 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

San Diego County American Legion


FORMAL VETERANS BALL Celebrating Military Service

By B.J. Coleman, Public Relations Chairman, Auxiliary Unit 6, & Judge Advocate, California American Legion Press Association


If the third time is said to be a charm, how much more is the fourth time? The Fourth Annual Veterans Ball staged by Vista’s talented Auxiliary Unit 365 was charming and magical, to be sure, as a formal military ball with dinner, dancing and honored guests. The ball was held on Saturday, February 25. The yearly event is a creation of Colleen Collazo, President of Unit 365, who has special skills in imagining and putting together wonderfully memorable events that serve worthy endeavors. This year’s 2017 Veterans Ball designated all proceeds to go to a nonprofit near and dear to Colleen Collazo’s heart, Shelter to Soldier. The STS charity that benefited describes its organizational mission as “saving lives two at a time,” first by rescuing dogs at risk of being euthanized for lack of shelter space, and second by training and partnering those dogs as psychiatric service dogs for recently separated veterans of military service, especially those diagnosed as experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and depression. Collazo, together with Marine Corps veteran Tim Herington, has initiated a support group known as North County Supports Shelter to Soldier (NCSSTS), intended to raise both money and awareness of Shelter to Soldier’s work. Herington is a Legionnaire member of Post 365. Colleen Collazo said, “My reason for wanting to raise money for STS is my passion for animals and veterans, and what better way than STS who saves two lives at a time.” The honored guest of this year’s Snow Ball was Haywood Bagley, Vista Veteran of the Year for 2016. Bagley is also Junior Past Commander of Post 365. The special guest of the evening was Jonathan Marroquin, recent recipient of a service dog from STS, Berkeley, who accompanied Marroquin to the evening’s festivities. Bagley spoke of his experiences during his 20 years serving as a Marine, from 1966 through 1986. He retired as a Master Sergeant. Bagley described his military career with fondness and good humor. At one assignment, Bagley said, “I was the only black Marine on base.” And then, “There were only four black guys in my engineering class.” Bagley served two years in a Hawk missile battalion. He served for 18 years as an Air Traffic Control Systems Technician. He further served as support for President Richard Nixon, providing radar and communications service while the president visited his home state of California. “That was great duty,” Bagley said, laughing, including a direct line to the Secret Service and chauffeur service for travel to accommodate the president. On retiring in 1986, Bagley was the first retiree from the Air Station at Camp Pendleton. Subsequently, Bagley worked for 23 years at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center in San Diego, managing a laboratory that built, installed and provided life cycle support for computers in Navy ships combat systems. Bagley said to his Post 365 comrades and friends, about his honor as most recent Vista Veteran of the Year, “This is not what I did, but what you all did.” Marroquin spoke briefly but movingly. Marroquin is an Army veteran, who served a tour of duty in 2006 and 2007 in Hawijah, Iraq, where his unit lost 18 soldiers. Marroquin is the father of a seven-year-old daughter and a toddler son diagnosed with a terminal illness. Marroquin has been identified as experiencing post-traumatic stress and major depression. He received Berkeley from Shelter to Soldier with a training graduation for the two on Veteran’s Day 2016.

“Berkeley is my rock,” Marroquin stated softly. “I can be a father to my son and daughter. I can have a life, and I have hope again. People like myself can have hope again because of Shelter to Soldier.” Marroquin described plans to complete his schooling and to outfit a motorcycle with a sidecar for Berkeley. He intends, once his very young son has passed away, to travel and scatter his son’s ashes.


San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 19


NORTH COUNTY SUPPORTS SHELTER TO SOLDIER By B.J. Coleman, Public Relations Chairman, Auxiliary Unit 6, & Judge Advocate, California American Legion Press Association


San Diego County’s District 22 features a few very impressive American Legion Posts, each with a distinctive character of their American Legion Family groups’ own. Vista’s Alvin Myo Dunn Post 365 is uniquely blessed for having dedicated members and friends who are drawn toward volunteering on behalf of animals and veterans. Active volunteers who are affiliated with Post 365 have gotten together over the past few months to initiate fundraising and awareness-boosting group efforts to aid a nonprofit organization that provides service dogs free of charge to military veterans in need. Shelter to Soldier describes its organizational mission as “saving lives two at a time,” first by rescuing dogs at risk of being euthanized for lack of shelter space, and second by training and partnering those dogs as psychiatric service companions for recently separated veterans of military service, especially those diagnosed as experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and depression. North County Supports Shelter to Soldier (NCSSTS) was born of a common dedication to animals and veterans among people linked with the Vista American Legion Post. Spearheading initiation of the group late last year were Colleen Collazo, President of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 365, and Post 365 Legionnaire Tim Herington. Herington became aware of Shelter to Soldier through fellow Post 365 affiliates Margie and J.D. Ernst’s involvement with a motorcycle ride aimed at prevention of active-duty military and veteran suicide. That event brought in money for Shelter to Soldier, and Herington began reaching out to learn more about STS. Colleen Collazo said of how the group came together, “Post 365 House Chairman Art Haeussler put us in touch, knowing we were all trying to raise money for

the same cause. My reason for wanting to raise money for STS is my passion for animals and veterans, and what better way than STS who saves two lives at a time.” Herington and Collazo became co-chairs in forming an executive committee with other volunteers willing to help STS. The post-service casualty rate, according to the Veterans Administration, is loss of 22 to 23 U.S. military veterans committing suicide daily. Among homeless dogs, about 2.7 million are put to death annually, for scarcity of adoptive homes and shelter space. Those startling numbers of senselessly lost life, which could be readily put to good purpose with well-directed intervention and assistance, inspired longtime dog trainer Graham Bloem and his wife, Kyrié, to found Shelter to Soldier in 2012. Early fundraising endeavors for North County Supports Shelter to Soldier have been successful and encouraging. Not only has North County stepped up to contribute to NCSSTS events, but San Diego County’s District 22 residents in parts south, east and west have come aboard to help. A Veterans Ball at Post 365 on February 25 was a formal dinner dance, which honored the American Legion Post’s junior past commander, Haywood Bagley, and also Jonathan, a recent recipient of a Shelter to Soldier Service dog. All proceeds went to NCSSTS. A March 4 motorcycle poker run, hosted by the American Legion Riders of Post 365, brought in over $6,300, in honor of recently deceased rider Brian “Fret Devil” Rineberg and donated to NCSSTS.


20 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”


BUSINESSES of N. Vista / San Marcos

Healthy businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstone of our nation’s prosperity. As military veterans, we pride ourselves in looking after one another and as a nation our mission is to “care for those who shall have borne the battle.” For over two centuries, our veterans endured the greatest of challenges, and learned the art of flexibility, commitment, attention to detail and mission accomplishment. Many veterans transition from their military commitments by opening businesses in our communities and applying traits and principles learned during their days in the military. We encourage our Legion family of over 10,000 members and all citizens of San Diego County to establish relationships with our Veteran Owned Businesses, and buy their products and use their services.



If yours is a Veteran Owned Business in San Diego County or American Legion Family Member Owned Business and you would like your business listed, please contact

Like it never happened® The men and women who served in our Armed Forces deserve our unsurpassed gratitude! Please visit our Veterans page at to learn about the many ways we assist our Veterans and their families.

A Tradition of Caring - Our Family Serving Yours Since 1964

For more Veteran Owned Businesses in San Diego County, visit our website at







Allen Brothers Mortuary, Inc.

BREWERY Bear Roots Brewing & Home Brew Shop Terry Little (760) 726-4204 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Focal Point Coaching & Training Excellence Robert Bowen, Jr. www.robertbowen.focalpointcoaching. com (760) 566-5817 ELECTRICIANS Albers Electric Company Nathan Albers (619) 787-3388

MOTORCYCLE DEALERSHIP Kennedys Custom Cycles Kyle (760) 967-5883 PEST CONTROL Lenard’s Pest Control Chris Lenard (760) 419-3179

All calls are answered by our Allen Brothers staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (You’ll never get an answering service or machine.)

Family Owned and Operated • Serving all of San Diego


The men and women who served in our Armed Forces protecting our country deserve our unsurpassed gratitude!

RESTAURANTS Big Jim’s 395 Grill Jim Rutan (760) 842-7303 The Wranglers Family Barbeque (619) 442-1170

Visit our page dedicated to Veterans services at 855 Broadway | Chula Vista, CA 91911 | (619) 426-2006 to learn about the many ways we assist our Veterans and their families. A Tradition of Caring - Our Family Serving Yours Since 1964

Anaheim Costa Mesa SAN MARCOS CHAPEL 760-744-4522 760-726-2555 Buena Park FD-1378 FD-1120 Laguna Beach Capistrano Beach THANK YOU Lake Forest Calls answered by our Allen Brothers staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Corona (You’ll never get an answering service or machine) Los Alamitos Pasadena


Allen Brothers Mortuary, Inc.

Veterans (714) 772-5444

1220 E. Ball Road Anaheim, CA 92805


San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 21



A new website will serve as a “one-stop shop” for those seeking to buy goods and services from veterans and military spouses.

The Veteran Market is an e-commerce platform where verified veterans, military spouses and businesses can sell their products online. Co-founders Mike Phipps and Scott Davidson said the site grew from the notion that there was not a centralized, verified marketplace for veterans and military spouses to sell their wares. “The idea developed that we would create a market online, tailored to the general public, where they can go buy from verified veterans and military spouses online,” said Phipps, managing director of The Millennium Group Int’l and a founding member of The American Legion Business Task Force.

Supports San Diego Veterans

While sites such as Etsy, give military spouses an online forum to sell their wares, the founders of The Veteran Market say their site will provide a centralized online location for selling products while ensuring that sellers don’t need to understand technology to set up their own business sites. The Veteran Market can be used by all types of businesses, ranging from home-based entrepreneurs to established businesses. Sellers can also use the website to cultivate partnerships with other veteranowned businesses. For example, Ranger Up currently stocks several products that are outsourced to other veteran-owned small businesses such as Liquid Metal Signs. The Veteran Market will establish a forum for business owners like these to collaborate. Once sellers have created their space on the Veteran Market, they also can connect their social media accounts (Face book, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram) to promote themselves. While the site is already open to seller registration, it is scheduled to open to the public on April First. The simple registration process not only helps the sellers establish an online presence, but also verifies their veteran or military spouse status through a process they have dubbed “Verified.”

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez

Serving California’s 80th District - San Diego, Chula Vista, National City

Thank you American Legion members and volunteers for all you do to support the Servicemembers and Veterans of the 80th Assembly District and across the country.

By leveraging open source information from organizations such as The American Legion, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Dun and Bradstreet, The Veteran Market can “verify” sellers while minimizing the burden of sending personal identifiable information to prove military service. The process takes less than 24 hours and no personal information is kept. “It’s a really short process to get verified. It’s one page, you can immediately start uploading the product information that you sell,” Phipps said.

Thank you to all the brave men and women who bravely serve our country. Paid for by Lorena Gonzalez for Assembly 642 Palomar St #406-337, Chula Vista, CA 91911 ID # 1358017

The enrollment process will also include a link to allow qualified individuals to join The American Legion if they’re not already members, they said.


22 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

W O U N D E D WA R R I O R R E G I M E N T ’ S

MARINE CORPS TRIALS AT MCB CAMP PENDLETON By Chris Yates, 1st Vice Commander, District 22


The American Legion’s California District 22 was honored to participate in the 7th Annual Marine Corps Trials, hosted by the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment held at MCB Camp Pendleton March 4-22.

The Marine Corps Trials is an adaptive sports event involving more than 325 wounded, ill or injured Marines, Sailors, Veterans and international competitors. Participation in the Marine Corps Trials is open to recovering Service Members and Veterans of all skill levels. Organized into three competing teams, participants represent Wounded Warrior Battalion-East, Wounded Warrior Battalion-West and an international team of wounded warriors from Australia, Colombia, France, Netherlands and United Kingdom. The Marine Corps Trials event promotes recovery and rehabilitation through adaptive sports participation and develops camaraderie among recovering Service Members and Veterans. It is an opportunity for recovering Service Members to demonstrate their achievements and serves as the primary venue to select Marine Corps participants for the DoD Warrior Games. Participants competed in archery, cycling, field, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, wheelchair basketball and track. “This is an awesome event,” said Chip Dykes, Commander of The American Legion’s Alvin Myo Dunn Post 365 in Vista. “The Wounded Warriors have made a great physical sacrifice for our country. Instead of feeling defeated or broken, they’ve come back stronger in mind and spirit. Their desire to continue to strive for excellence is inspirational.”

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Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 23


BACK COUNTRY BBQ 2017 By Bic Montblanc

We’re through the cold, foul weather of winter, and spring is here. Along with spring comes what has now become an annual tradition in these parts, the Julian Dance and Back Country BBQ, coming up on Saturday, June 10th. This event is sponsored by Sons of the American Legion from Julian’s Lincoln Deming American Legion Post 468. All the funds the SALs generate are returned to the community in the form of sponsorship of our kids, schools, and worthwhile organizations that need a financial hand up and to veterans. In many ways, this event is a throwback to community events of the past. It’s held outdoors at Menghini Winery, where parents and kids can depend on a friendly, wholesome atmosphere. Gates open at 2 p.m. and getting there early gives you a head start on a great table for viewing the bands. This event is not just a show but an opportunity to dance on a huge floor to top country bands. A professional sound and lighting company sets the stage for three great bands. Leading off this year’s show at 3 p.m. are the California Rangers, making their inaugural appearance in Julian. These guys are a great dance band with a big following in Southern California. Next up will be Three Chord Justice with their full band. They were a big hit last year, evidenced by the full dance floor during their performance. Headlining the show this year will be Nancarrow, back from their sessions in Nashville recording their new album produced by Vance Powell, a force in the music business. Blake Rogers will be back again this year doing his touching rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, and not to be missed will be the Doves and Desperados in a special performance. .


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In years past, there has always been a separate area for the kids, and this year there will be expanded activities. From “jumpy rooms,” pie eating contests, lots of physical games, and the biggest water balloon fight in the backcountry, the kids will definitely be entertained. Later in the day, we’ll get the kids and kid-like adults up on the dance floor where they get to be the entertainers in the “air guitar contest.” The food has always been great at the event. The fellows start the day before the event, trimming and applying their special rub to the tri-tip and chicken that’s cooked on site over local oak, Santa Maria style. There will also be jumbo hot dogs and veggie burgers. The huge plate of food or sandwich option is rounded out with ranch beans and coleslaw. The food and a great choice of craft beers, soft drinks, wine and hard cider are all at a separate cost from the entry ticket.

(Continued on Page 24)


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T H E J U L IA N DA N C E & BAC K C O U N T RY B B Q (Continued from Page 23) At night, you can count on great stage lighting, lasers, twinkly lights around the site and a professionally lit dance floor. As locals know, evenings can be cool in the mountains so tell your friends coming up the hill to bring appropriate clothing. A country tradition that we’ll maintain are the bonfires we have at night. Since the beginning of this event, one of the chief sources of revenue for the Sons has been the sale of banners that are displayed prominently. The merchants and some individuals in Julian have supported the event in a big way by purchasing these banners year after year. Don’t forget that banners come with a set number of tickets depending on the size. This year the Sons will have a donor’s page on their website that gets thousands of hits that will have a link to our merchant’s websites along with a rotation of the donors on the home page. The growing Wall of Honor, where you can purchase a banner to honor a past or present military service member is also available. These banners display the name, rank, branch of service and other information ranging from the honoree’s engagement, battalion, etc. For $100.00 you can purchase the 2’x2’ banner that will fly at “The Dance” every year, as well as other events at our local American Legion Post. Another popular feature that was added a few years ago is reserved seating at tables for six or eight. The tables are

located with a good view to the stage and dance floor and under a large canopy. The price for a table includes entry, your meal and a bottle of wine donated by Menghini Winery. As in years past, coolers are not allowed into the event. While this is a family friendly affair you’ll have to leave your furry and feathered friends at home. There are NO pets allowed. If you plan on partaking of beer, wine or hard cider you MUST have your ID as regulations on drinking is taken seriously by the Sons and strictly enforced. Parking is still free. There will be an ATM on site, as purchases are all cash. The American Legion Auxiliary will have their dessert table in the food area with enhanced choices for those that are sweet of tooth. Ticket prices for “The Dance” are the same as last year. If you wait till the last minute and buy them at the gate they are $25.00. Anyone can go online and purchase an advance ticket for $20.00. Kids that are sixteen and under can purchase their tickets at the gate for only for $5.00. American Legion, Auxiliary and Sons get into the event for $15.00 at the gate with your current Legion ID. All the information is available at the website, www.juliandance. org. Get your tickets early so we know you’re coming, and we’ll see you at the dance.

In Remembrance of Those Who Have Served

Edward J. Curly, Business Manager Operating Engineers Local 501

Thomas O’Mahar President

Todd Ullman Vice President

Paul Nunez Financial Secretary

Southern California & Southern Nevada THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS

Bryan Cortez Treasurer

San Diego County American Legion

“Serving San Diego County and Surrounding Areas”

Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 25

Veterans THANK YOU


26 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

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HHC 96TH MILITARY POLICE BATTALION DEPLOYS By Maureen “Moe” Giacalone, 1st Vice President, District 22, & Secretary, Unit 460


During the spring of 2016, Mrs. Jhoselyn Ramirez-Strait from the Family Readiness Group for the HHC, 96th Military Police Battalion contacted the District 22 Auxiliary to request assistance with the Battalion’s Deployment “Farewell Party.” The 96th MP BN had relocated to San Diego from Orange County and had been activated with half the Battalion deploying to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Jhoselyn attended the May District 22 Auxiliary meeting and definitely sparked an interest from our Auxiliary Units. With coordination from Auxiliary Unit 460, the deployment farewell party was held on June 12, 2016 at 13:30 at Mills Park on Marine Corp Air Station Miramar, San Diego. In preparation for the event D22 Units donated 150 “Summer Time Fun” backpacks for the children of the MP BN, stuffed full of fun things for the summer. All expenses were met by contributions of cash, food and supplies in support of D22’s American Legion Four Pillars. Early on June 12, volunteers loaded up pickup trucks with BBQ grills, pop-up tents, the food and supplies. Our cars were overflowing with the kid’s backpacks. We served up 450 burgers and hot dogs for the party. There was a snow cone machine, along with a photo booth and an air jumper for all to enjoy. The colors were presented, with all present participating in the flag presentation. In attendance for the event were the San Diego Clowns and the Aim San Diego Youth Mimes. The Battalion presented Post 460 & Auxiliary Unit 460 with a token of their appreciation, their mascot, The Spartan. But it was truly our appreciation that we needed to express to them for the sacrifices they were about to endure. Since their departure in June, we sponsored a “Meet & Greet” BBQ at Post 460 for the MP BN & their families. As well, a few families attended our Post 460 Halloween Party. For Christmas, the children at Central Elementary School in National City made Christmas cards, which were hand delivered by Jhoselyn to the Battalion in Guantanamo Bay. Much to our surprise, when Jhoselyn returned, she presented Post 460 and Auxiliary Unit 460 with the flags that were flown by the HHC 96th Military Police Battalion on September 11, 2016 and November 11, 2016. This has been an experience we at 460 will treasure. And for the future, as we will continue to support the HHC 96th Military Police Battalion and their families.

(Continued on Page 27)


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AU X I L IA RY OF F E R S SU P P ORT. . . (Continued from Page 26) The History of the 96th Military Police Battalion The 96th Military Police Battalion was constituted on June 8, 1945, in the Army of the United States as Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD), 96th Military Police (MP) Battalion (BN). The 96th MP BN was activated on June 13, 1945, in France. They were later deactivated on 12 November 1945 in Belgium.

Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 27



The 96th MP BN was reinstated on 14 December 1950 with the Regular Army and activated for duty in Korea. Following these missions, they were deactivated on 20 March 1953 in Korea. They were again activated on 20 December 1964 at Fort Benning, Georgia, and deactivated on 21June 1974 in Oakland, California. Many years later, the 96th MP BN was reactivated in 2005 in San Diego as the 96th MP BN specializing in internment and resettlement operations and assigned to the United States Army Reserves. Following this reactivation, they deployed to the Anbar Province of Iraq to work at the Abu Ghraib prison in December 2006 through its closing in December 2008. Only a few years later, they deployed to the Parwan Province of Afghanistan, stationed at Bagram Airfield to train Afghan forces on detainee operations from July 2010 through June 2011. Most recently, the 96th MP BN deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from July 2016 to April 2017. The 96th MP BN has earned Campaign Participation credit for the following battles during the Korean War: Communist Chinese Forces (CCF) Intervention 1951, First UN Counteroffensive 1951, CCF Spring Offensive 1951, UN Summer-Fall Offensive 1951, Second Korean Winter 1952, Korean Summer-Fall 1952, and Third Korean Winter 1953. They have also earned credit for the Iraq Campaign while at Abu Ghraib 2008, the Afghanistan Campaign while at Bagram Airfield 2011, as well as Campaign Participation for Operation Enduring Freedom while stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2017. The 96th MP BN HHC was set to return home led by their Commander Major Brian Strait and First Sergeant John Endres.

Department Commander Gary Leach and Department Membership Director Mike Hooper present District 22 Commander Desiree Herrera with The National Achievement Award at the Fall Department Executive Committee Meeting held in West Covina 10-12 March 2017. The award was presented in appreciation for District 22's accomplishing 100% of the Membership Goal during 2016. The accomplishment secured District 22’s position as the largest District in California. We are 8369 loyal wartime Veterans committed to serving Veterans and their families, promoting Americanism, supporting a strong National Defense and sponsoring healthy programs and educational opportunities for our children and youth!

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28 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

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AU X I L IA RY OF F E R S SU P P ORT. . . (Continued from Page 26) The volunteers further participated in Vista’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration on March 12, manning a fair table and entering companion humans and dogs into a spontaneous dog walk accompanying the Irish festival’s Celtic Queen around streets through downtown Vista. Walk participants who paid entry fees were invited to return with their dogs to the Vista American Legion Post for a complimentary picnic-style meal and chances to win raffle items.

MEMORIAL DAY PRAYER O Lord, we pause to remember this Memorial Day the men and women of our Armed Forces, who have served this country at home and abroad during these 238 years of our nation’s independence. It is a great and sacred trust that brings us together, Lord, on this day set aside for remembrance. It is a remembrance worth making — a day of tribute to those who gave their lives in defense of all that America stands for. To memorialize the dead is to pay homage not only to the fallen, but also to their spirit of sacrifice and valor. The loss of these valiant men and women tears the very fabric of the family and the nation. We pray for all veterans, those in good health and those wounded still in hospitals around the world fighting to regain their health. We pray for those still held a prisoner of war on foreign soil, or who are listed as missing in action. Truly all of these veterans are America’s first and finest citizens — they’ve proven it. We commend them to You, Heavenly Father, those who have left for us a priceless heritage which serves as part of the life and freedom we now enjoy. We ask this in Your Name. Amen.

That event netted the group over $3,200. Staffers with North County’s Mohnacky Animal Hospitals were in attendance at the St. Patrick’s Day Post 365 picnic meal in support of NCSSTS. Crystal Monroe serves as volunteer coordinator for Helping PAWS, as well as working for the veterinary clinics as lead nurse and assistant executive director. She was herself on active duty for six years in the U.S. Air Force. She described how dedicated Dr. Mohnacky and his employees are assisting North County military families in need of pet care. The clinics offer one free spay or neuter for a military family, including all associated blood work and pain medications for pet recovery from the surgery. This nonprofit affiliated with the Mohnacky hospitals further attempts to help military families facing pet surgical emergencies. Participating in the NCSSTS St. Patrick’s Day Dog Walk is yet another of the Helping PAWS projects to serve military families with pets. Colleen Collazo ventured south to coastal San Diego on Tuesday, March 14, to both enlist and provide support from a companion American Legion Auxiliary Unit stationed at Pacific Beach Post 552. The talented women at that San Diego beach-area veterans service organization cooked up traditional Irish fare for an early St. Patrick’s Day meal, including corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and green-sprinkled sugar cookies. Proceeds from dinner sales and donations were slated for Shelter to Soldier. Information about other fundraising events for NCSSTS can be acquired by email at

community building starts here Ranked among the Top 50 universities for veterans, SDSU serves more than 3,200 student veterans, active duty, reservists and dependents each year. The Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center is a valuable resource, as is the Veterans House — the first student-veteran residence of its kind on a college campus.


San Diego County American Legion

Advancing Therapeutics, Improving Lives.

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Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 29

For more than 25 years, Gilead has worked to develop medicines that address areas of unmet medical need for people around the world. Our portfolio of medicines and pipeline of investigational drugs include treatments for HIV/AIDS, liver diseases, cancer, inflammatory and respiratory diseases and cardiovascular conditions. Every day we strive to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses.


For more information, please visit © 2016 Gilead Sciences, Inc.


30 Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY

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P O S T 2 5 5 HO S T S

13TH ANNUAL LAW AND ORDER DINNER AWARDS CEREMONY By Diane DeVries, Finance Officer, Post 255, & Judge Advocate, District 22


On Saturday, February 25th, Post 255 held the organization’s 13th annual Law and Order Dinner and Awards Ceremony. The Post provided the attending firefighters, law enforcement officers and their spouses a free dinner and an appreciation gift for their services throughout the year. Also honored were Post members who retired from the Police or Fire Departments. Over 60 Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters were in attendance. This year, Post 255 honored Officer William Phillips Jr. (Meritorious Service Award) from the National City Police Department and Engineer Paul Kane (Meritorious Service Award) from the National City Fire Department. The evening was a huge success and would not have been possible without the Post’s great volunteers. A BIG THANKS are deserved to: Co-Chairs – Rick & Diane DeVries; Commander – Melissa Johnson; Chaplain – Juanita Corica; Sergeant-atArms - Ken Dibble; photos – Ken Knoof; hall Set-up – Joe Bonilla, Jaime Navarro, Lorraine & Richard Ensign, Gloria Jean & Jimmy Nieto, Pat Arcia; Decorations Lorraine & Richard Ensign; centerpiece flowers donated by Bob Taft in memory of his wife Debbie; program folding – Diane DeVries; Tickets/Greeter – Lemmie Anderson; Kitchen Crew – Wayne Dull, Larry Baldwin, Desiree Dull and Aisha Merritt; Servers – Nicole Sartorio, Anthony Adame, Teri Alcala, Jill Johnson, Gloria Jean Nieto and Paul “Roadblock” Patricio; Helper - Larry Emerson; clean-up– servers + whoever wasn’t busy; and finally bartender – Tony Martinez. A specially thank you to Joe Bonilla, Virgie Munoz and Tony Martinez for cooking the beef and chicken at home due to complications with the kitchen. Thanks also, to Wayne Dull who was a total “MacGyver” in the kitchen. Thank you is owed to the many folks who help Post 255 amass the door prizes, namely: American Legion Riders Chapter 255; Ball Honda; BJ’s Restaurant, Courtney Tire Service, H&M Landing and the boats Producer, Malihini, Premier and TopGun80; Goulet Industries (engraving), Napoleone Pizza House, National City Car Wash, National City Golf Course, Sam's Club, Starbuck’s, USS MIDWAY Museum and Walmart. Also, thanks to Bill & Elsa Devany, Rick & Diane DeVries, Jimmy Dorsey & Doris Haynes, Jo Helen Grant, Melissa Johnson, Virgie & Martin Munoz, Tom & Rickey Snow and Juanita Williams.

On-duty firefighters awaiting a complimentary dinner that was served to guests at American Legion Post 255’s Law and Order Awards banquet. American Legion Post 255 Law & Order Chairman Rick DeVries reads the Meritorious Service Award for Police Officer William Phillips, Jr., with National City Police Chief Manuel Rodriguez (left) and Post 255 Commander Melissa Johnson (back) looking on. Honorees from National City’s police and fire departments for Meritorious Service Awards with their awards plaques at the American Legion Post 255 Law and Order dinner, Firefighter Paul Kane (left) with Police Officer William Phillips, Jr. Photos courtesy of American Legion Post 255

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Monday, May 29, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY 31

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