It has been a while since we reported. CA-3 has held several monthly meetings. Our April meeting was hosted by CA-3 Secretary Bonnie Dabalos-Castro and Loyal Escort Patti Ellison. New member Stephanie Borges introduced herself. She is a civilian aide to a one-star general! The first civilian aide he has had! As such, her schedule often changes, but she will attend meetings when possible.
At our May meeting, hosted by CA-3 member Nancy Arroyavila and Loyal Escort Sarah River, we celebrated Armed Forces Day. At that meeting, it was announced that the San Leandro Public Library was hosting an Iwo Jima program, with two survivors of that conflict scheduled to speak. Nancy Arroyavila announced that PGE was holding a volunteer event to fill boxes to be sent to troops overseas. Lily Brockmeier announced that the deadline to apply for the CA-3 scholarship would be in July. Loyal Escort Cheryl Christensen spoke about a program that Crown Royal had to honor veterans. She submitted her parents’ names and received an engraved plaque. Loyal Escort member Vern Smith is still collecting signatures to submit in the hopes of having a future ship named after Joe Rosenthal. CA-3 President Susan Johnston participated in the National Day of Prayer Commemoration held at the Tracy City Hall with the presentation of colors.
The June meeting was hosted by Loyal Escorts Angie Fredekind, Barbara Morgan, and Cheryl Christensen.
At the July meeting, hosted by Susan Johnston and Nell Marie Forsey, Molly Howe officially took over as webmaster for CA-3’s newly designed web site. She asked that we all look at it and send in any suggestions we might have to further improve it. Kathy Wright announced that she has taken over as WMA National 3rd Vice President, a little sooner than expected. Susan Johnston and Don Johnston participated in Memorial Day events, first by placing large flags along the entrance to the Tracy Public Cemetery, then by placing a small American flag at the gravesites of all veterans interred at the Tracy Public Cemetery, followed by participating in the presenting of colors and gun salute at the laying of wreaths ceremony at the cemetery, and finally in the gun salute at the Tracy War Memorial events during the Memorial Day weekend.
Lily Brockmeier announced that one scholarship application was received, and the CA-3 annual scholarship for 2018 was awarded to Brandon Zaunbrecher – CA-3 member Nancy Zaunbrecher-Payne’s grandson. He is currently enrolled in his second year at Lainey College in Oakland. His goal is to obtain an AA degree and transfer to a 4-year college to pursue a bachelor’s degree in project engineering. He is also a starting running back for the football program in Lainey. Congratulations Brandon! CA-3 is proud to help you achieve your goals.
During this time, CA-3 Vice President Kathy Wright, along with several members of CA-3, attended the Celebration of Life and scattering of the ashes of CA-3 founding member LaVerne Marts. CA-3 member Molly Howe graduated, Lily Brockmeier added a USMC tattoo onto her wrist, and Nell Marie Forsey welcomed a great granddaughter, Embrey Rose. Verne Smith marched in the 4th of July parade in Alameda with Force Recon, and Susan Johnston marched in the 4th of July parade, and participated in the presentation of colors in Tracy.
At the August meeting, hosted by Loyal Escort Sarah Rivera and CA-3 member Nancy Arroyoavila, CA-3 celebrated the Anniversary of Women Marines. Vern Smith requested a woman Marine to speak at the Marine Corps League on November 3rd – celebrating the Marine Corps Birthday, and the anniversary of women in the Marine Corps. Kathy Wright volunteered to speak at this event. Final plans were discussed for attendance at the Biennial Convention, including scheduling members to be present at the CA-3 table in the PX. CA-3 will be selling neck coolers made by CA-3 member Barbara Naas, necklaces (including Marine Corps emblem necklaces) made by Kathy Wright, WMA embossed pens, and raffling off 4 items – a Barbie USMC doll, a Ken USMC doll, a USMC blanket and a camouflage blanket, both blankets hand made by Tina Thomas who donated the material and her services. A portion of the earnings will go towards funding the CA-3 annual scholarship. A total of 12 CA-3 members and Loyal Escorts, and one member’s sister, will be attending the convention. All are looking forward to this event celebrating 100 years of women in the Marine Corps.
The September meeting was hosted by Nancy Zaubrecher-Payne. At this meeting, CA-3 remembered Patriot’s Day. Molly Howe talked about her upcoming trip to Europe – Budapest! We all look forward to lots of pictures and exciting tales. At this meeting, members talked about their attendance at the Biennial Convention in Washington D.C. We were thrilled with our goodie bag – and the special Woman Marine Anniversary coin we found in it. There were so many “special” and favorite moments. The Parade at 8th & I was high on everyone’s list, as was attending the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Also talked about was the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, and Arlington Cemetery. Some of us also attended the unveiling of the monument on Opha May Johnson’s gravesite, where the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller, spoke. We visited the World War II Monument, saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, visited the Iwo Jima Monument, toured parts of the Smithsonian, and toured other points of interest in Washington D.C. We all agreed that this convention was well worth the trip. The food was great, the trips were wonderful (despite the occasional rain), the programs were interesting. We all found interesting items for sale at the various chapter PX booths. The silent auction items were popular, and the vendors attending were pertinent and helpful. Some of us rose early on Sunday morning to attend the Annual Fun Run/Walk. While the active duty Marines and a few brave souls ran, most of us formed up and walked/marched the two-mile event, chanting all the way. Our PX table was successful, earning funds to continue the annual CA-3 scholarship. At this convention, CA-3 Loyal Escort Don Johnston was elected to the Loyal Escorts National Board of Directors, and Kathy Wright won 2nd place with her history book entry. Congratulations to both of our members. CA-3 is already looking forward to the next convention in Omaha in 2020.
During this time, as part of the combined American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Honor Guard, CA-3 President Susan Johnston also participated in 11 funerals/memorial services and participated in the annual burying of the ashes of retired American flags at the Tracy Public Cemetery.