U. S. Army Captain Eleanor Grace Alexander was from Rivervale, New Jersey. She was with the 85th. Evacuation Hospital. On November 30,1987, she had been working in a hospital in Pieiku to help mass casualties from Dak To. She was on a plane that crashed on the return trip to Qui Nhon and she died. These Nurses embody selfless love, sacrifice and courage who volunteered to serve their Country! You are a True War Hero, never to be forgotten.
Second Lieutenant Elizabeth Ann Jones was from Allendale, South Carolina.She was assigned to the 3rd. Field Hospital. On February 18, 1966, Second Lieutenant Jones was flying with Second Lieutenant Drazba on board a helicopter that crashed near Saigon and they were killed.These Nurses embody selfless love, sacrifice and courage who volunteered to serve their Country! You are a True War Hero and will always be remembered!
Second Lieutenant Carol Ann Drazba was born and raised in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. On February 18, 1966, Second Lieutenant Drazba was on board a helicopter with Second Lieutenant Elizabeth Jones, when it crashed near Saigon and they were killed. These Nurses embody selfless love, sacrifice and courage who volunteered to serve their Country! You are a True War Hero and will not be forgotten!
On April 2, 1972, Navy Seal Lieutenant Thomas Norris, was in the middle of his Easter Offensive operation to locate Lt. Col. Ideal Hambleton who was shot down near the DMZ. Efforts by air led to another loss of aircraft, so a ground attempt was ordered. Navy Seal Lt. Norris led a five man team into hostile territory and was able to recover, Lt. Mark Clark, who was the Son of WW11 General Mark Clark.Lt. Mark Clark was shot down while searching for Lt. Col. Ideal Hambleton. Time was running out to find Lt. Col. Hambleton, so Lt. Norris along with South Vietnamese Commando Nguyen Van Kiet disguised themselves as fishermen. Going through infested jungles, they were able to locate Hambleton. They put him into their sampan and covered him with bamboo, while navigating back to American lines, and being under intense enemy fire, Lt. Norris neutralized a well-place air strike.For his highly successful classified mission, Lt. Norris was awarded the Medal of Honor and Nguyen Van Kiet, became one of the few Vietnamese to receive the Navy Cross.We are grateful for your Service, Lt. Thomas Norris and Nguyen Van Kiet and also for your Sacrifice to our Country! You are True War Heroes who will not be forgotten!
Spc. Philip Shuman, 82nd Airborne Division US Army, Hometown Hero
Honoring combat veteran Specialist Philip Shuman, who served in the US Army 82nd Airborne Division. Philip engaged in combat duty in the Panama Conflict and in Desert Storm, serving in the US Army four years from 1989–1993, receiving an honorable discharge. In Desert Storm, Philip operated a vehicle called a “SEE,” or a Small Emplacement Excavator. Philip holds multiple degrees, including Associates degrees in History, Sciences, & Art from Modesto Junior College; Associate of Arts degrees in Physical Science, Social Science, Humanities & Art from College of the Redwoods; and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Fine Art, Sculpture & Graphic Art from Stanislaus State University. Philip currently resides in Manteca, California. Philip, you are a hometown hero, and we thank you for your service for your country!
On August 26, 1967, Col. George Day was shot out of the sky from his F-100 over Vietnam. He was a Major, leading a Misty Forward Air Control flight when his plane was crippled by anti-aircraft fire. As he ejected, he was badly injured and after reaching the ground was captured and taken to a small POW camp. He was able to trick his guards and made it into the jungle. Despite his injuries and incurring more, Major Day traveled south towards the DMZ. He survived by eating berries and frogs. He was unable to signal for help from several American planes that were overhead. Suffering from delirium, he walked around aimlessly and was recaptured by the Viet Cong who shot him in the hand and leg in the process. Major Day offered nothing but maximum resistance to the enemy and kept his faith with his fellow POWs. He received his Medal of Honor for his bravery in escape and resistance and he also received the Air Force Cross for his staunch refusal to cooperate. To date, he is the only man to receive both awards. Thank you for your Service and Sacrifice, Col. George Day, to our Country! You are a True War Hero and we will always honor you!
Col. Jay Vargas was a Captain leading Company G, 2nd., Battalion, Fourth Marines, when he assaulted the village of Dai Do on May 1, 1968. On April 30, 1968, Captain Day received painful wounds but he refused to be evacuated. Despite his wounds and large volume of enemy fire, he successfully maneuvered his company and two others through open ground gaining foothold in the village. When his men became pinned down, and he was wounded for a second time, he continued the fight to ensure that the objective was secure. After receiving reinforcements, Captain Vargas remained in the open offering aid and encouragement to his beleaguered Marines He was hit a third time and he still lead his Marines until he saw his battalion Commander go down. Charging through a hail of gun fire, Captain Vargas successfully evacuated his Commander to safety, before rejoining his Marines and reorganizing their defense. For his actions during those three days, Captain Vargas received the Medal of Honor. Thank you for answering the call to Serve our Country, Col. Jay Vargas and also for you Sacrifice! You are a True War Hero, who will not be forgotten!
A Great War Hero U. S. Marine 1st. Lt. Rebecca Turpin
U. S. Marine 1st. Lt. Rebecca Turpin was serving a six month deployment to Afghanistan from the late 2008 to mid 2009. She was then a 2nd. Lt., and she led supply convoys. The convoy had eighteen vehicles departed for a mission around 4am., which was expected to take one day. They finished two days later after hitting multiple improvised explosive devices. She continued to keep the mission going, managing the vehicle loses and keeping her Men alive. 2nd. Lt. Turpin convoy came under heavy fire in a small village. She called for a pair of Cobra helicopters, directed the air support and eliminating and dispersing the threats. As the convoy began to leave the village, insurgents reappeared and began fire again. 2nd. Lt. Turpin directed the machine gunners and Cobra helicopters and skillfully escape with her convoy and completed the mission. 1st Lt. Turpin earned the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Valor device. She is one of few women ever to receive it. Thank you for your brave Service and Sacrifice to our Country! You are a True War Hero.
We Remember and Honor, Army Sgt. 1st. class Mihail Goli
Army Sgt. 1st. Class Mihail Golin was from Fort Lee, New Jersey. He was assigned to the 2nd. battalion, 10th., Special Forces Group, Airborne, Fort Carson, Colorado. On January 1, 2018, Sgt. 1st. Class Golin, was in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan and was engaged by enemy small arms fire, while on a dismounted patrol. He was wounded and later died of his injuries. He had previously deployed to Irag and twice to Afghanistan. Sgt. 1st. Class Golin was awarded two Purple Hearts, three Army Commendation Medals and three Army Achievement Medals. You are Loved and Remembered for your Service and Sacrifice to our Country! You are a True War Hero who will never be forgotten!
We honor decorated Vietnam Veteran Dionicio (Danny) Cruz, who served as 1 Lt. Infantry Officer, ’69. Dionicio was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal and Bronze Star Medal. Danny Cruz earned his Bachelor of Arts degree & Teaching Credential from San Francisco State. Mr. Cruz began his teaching career in Grayson, California. Mr. Cruz served as a teacher for four years, and two years as a Human Relations Coordinator. Continuing his career, Mr. Cruz worked as a Modesto City Schools Principal for twenty seven years before retiring. During this time, he served as principal at Shackelford, Everett, Orville Wright, Bret Harte and Beard Elementary Schools. Mr. Cruz pioneered the first breakfast program in Stanislaus County at Schackelford Elementary School, and was instrumental in the recruitment of teachers with bilingual/crosscultural credentials. He has served as a community volunteer; he is a past board member of the Hispanic Leadership Council (HLC), Latino Community Roundtable (LCR), Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) Headrest (now Center for Human Services), and Equal County Equal Rights Commission. He is a former Commander of VFW Post 3199 and GI Forum, Stanislaus County. Presently, Mr. Cruz serves on the Stanislaus County Veterans Advisory Commission as a County Board appointed member. The Stanislaus County Diversity Award is named in his Honor. Mr. Cruz continues to be actively engaged in many of the general community and veteran organizations mentioned, and will be representing VFW 3199 in this year’s 4th of July Parade. Thank you, Mr. Cruz, for your service and continued contributions to our community!