VETERANS MEMORIAL MONUMENT DEDICATION

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Over 200 local veterans, their guests, and members of the public attended the Veterans Memorial Monument Dedication Ceremony held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at Constitution Park in Camarillo.  Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, and Nancy Lee Phillips, representing the office of Ventura County Supervisor Kelly Long, also attended the event.  Master of Ceremonies was retired Navy Captain Jim McHugh.

Congresswoman Julia Brownley and Captain Jeff Chism, Naval Base Ventura County Commanding Officer, were scheduled to be guest speakers, however both were unable to attend due to evacuations during the Hill and Woolsey fires.  A moment of silence was held before the program began for the victims of the mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks and also for first responders and everyone impacted by the fires.

The ceremony honored 36 servicemembers from the Camarillo-Somis area who fought and gave their lives in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Southwest Asia.  The program included a special certificate presentation to the families of those killed in action in the Vietnam War, a Memorial Bell Ceremony for all 36 fallen heroes, and a wreath-laying tribute.  The program culminated in the unveiling of the new monument, which features several brass plaques inscribed with the names of fallen servicemembers.  The plaques were donated by American Legion Post 741 and designed by Conejo Mountain Memorial Park.

The 36 honorees include the following:

World War II Fallen
Louis Almeida, United States Army William Dawson, United States Army
Stewart Doty, United States Navy Reserve
James Gilbride, United States Army
Russell Higbey, United States Army
Billy John Hudson, United States Navy
Francis G. Hudson, United States Navy Reserve
Robert Ledesma, United States Army
Frank Leonardo, United States Army
John Luce, United States Army
Patrick J. McDonald, United States Army
Durward L. Oilar, United States Army
Harold V. Powell, Sr., United States Navy Reserve
Simon S. Quiroz, United States Army
Robert C. Rowland, Unites States Marine Corps Reserve
Thomas F. Vaughn, United States Army
James Whitmire, United States Army
 
Korean War Fallen

Henry H. Ascencio, United States Army
Victor G. Corona, United States Air Force (Missing in Action)
Hector Rodriguez, United States Army 

Vietnam War Fallen

Kenneth D. Combs, United States Army
James H. Cooney, United States Marine Corps
Richard C. Drewes, United States Army
George W. Ellis, United States Marine Corps
Russell G. Hofer, United States Army
W. Gary Humphrey, United States Army
Victor Bruce Kelley, United States Army
Lewis A. Kimmel, Jr., United States Marine Corps
Michael P. Moritz, United States Army
James R. Plake, United States Marine Corps
Philip C. Stafford, United States Army
Robert J. Treasure, United States Marine Corps
Barton J. Uplinger, United States Marine Corps
Richard A. Weske, United States Army 

Southwest Asia Fallen

Jason D. Cunningham, Unites States Air Force
Jonathan J. Golden, Unites States Air Force 

The City of Camarillo extends special thanks to members of Girl Scout Troop 60885 for acting as ushers; members of Girl Scout Troop 60192 for help with event cleanup; members of Boy Scout Troop 805 for help with chair setup; George Sandoval, for the loan of photo plaques of Camarillo's Vietnam War killed in action servicemembers from the "We Remember" exhibit; the Gold Coast Pipe Band for providing memorial music; the Naval Base Ventura County Color Guard team; Rebecca Sailer for performing the National Anthem; Laura Espinoza, Certified American Sign Language Interpreter; and the Camarillo-Somis Pleasant Valley Lions Club for providing food for guests at the event. 

This was the last event in a series of six events the City held as a Commemorative Partner in the Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration program sponsored by the Department of Defense to honor Camarillo-area veterans who served during the Vietnam War period. Achieving key program objectives to honor and thank veterans of the Vietnam War period for their service would not have been possible without the diligent efforts over the past three years by the participants on the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Ad Hoc Committee:

Councilmember Charlotte Craven
Councilmember Mike Morgan
Captain Jim McHugh, USN (Ret.)
Captain Paul Grossgold, USN (Ret.)
Lt. Colonel Don Waunch, USMC (Ret.), Vietnam Veteran, and former Camarillo City Councilmember
Dan Crow, Vietnam Veteran and American Legion Post 741 Executive Committeeman
Joe Ortiz, Vietnam Veteran