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Transgender Day of Visibility Credo students demand strong environmental action One Planet Youth Summit and Credo High School Penngrove buries time capsule Free job fair matches local employers and job seekers Nor Cal Aging, Disability and Advocacy Expo Community Events Calendar March 22, 2019 through April 4, 2019 Volunteer's Corner Senior center prom SSU to sign landmark commitment to sustainability Free LGBT awareness training for caregivers Rohnert Park Democratic Club Hub Cyclery celebrates another year Mayor Belforte reads at Monte Vista Community Events Calendar October 5, 2018 through October 18, 2018 Community Events Calendar January 11, 2019 through January 24, 2019 Transgender day in the square Let’s talk Turkey Recipes sought for B’nai Israel cookbook Community Events Calendar March 15, 2019 through March 28, 2019 Community Events Calendar September 28, 2018 through October 11, 2018 Community Events Calendar December 28, 2018 through January 10, 2019 Welcome to a new year of reading and writing Looking through the glass at Arch’s for 55 years Community Events Calendar August 31, 2018 through September 13, 2018 Community Events Calendar October 19, 2018 through November 1, 2018 Local author donates to Wildfire Relief Charities LIME Foundation partners with local organization Volunteer's Corner Gore in tune Community Events Calendar October 12 through October 25 Over 100 volunteers wrapping toys Community Events Calendar January 4, 2019 through January 17, 2019 Event volunteers needed JavAmore, Caprara’s Pizzeria hold fundraiser Save Rancho Adobe FPD Sonoma Clean Power partners with Uber Homeless veterans receive greatest gift Volunteer's Corner Art students big on art RP Expressway improvements Remo is ready for dessert SSU’s Sakaki names Griffin-Desta as new Chief of Staff Haute Flash takes the stage Artists showing off their works Community Events Calendar August 10, 2018 through August 23, 2018 Get your hula on for the Penngrove luau A day at Thomas Page Academy Elves clowning around Burton Recreation Center gets a new look Parkour Speed competition Community Events Calendar September 14, 2018 through September 27, 2018 Pastis visits the Ranch A Cotati home has the Christmas spirit 2nd Annual Sweethearts Fairytale Dance Grand opening at Acme Burger Bands and DJs playing great music in Cotati Photo exhibit by Penngrove artist sheds light on disability community Free Advance Care Planning workshop Jan. 15 SSU Outreach and events coordinator changes Cycle Without Limits in action again at SSU Future leaders of the community Cotati’s early morning breakfast Cotatians turned out in droves Sat. to celebrate Oliver’s Market 30th anniversary party Bark After Dark: Dinner and auction to help save animals Enrollment event at SC airport Would you make a great foster parent? RCHS ‘sold out’ crab feed A new student center in RP Community Events Calendar August 24, 2018 through September 6, 2018 Community Events Calendar October 26 through November 8 Community Events Calendar November 9 2018 through November 22 2018 Rohnert Park students to learn bike safety Genealogy library hosts open house in Santa Rosa NorCal Honor Band accepts Analy High School musicians Apply to represent So County’s older adults CPI North Bay fire recovery Sonoma Raceway hosts food drive American Sign Language and police departments Volunteer's Corner Community Events Calendar January 18, 2019 through January 31, 2019 Community Events Calendar February 1, 2019 through February 14, 2019 SSU to screen ‘Big Sonia’ to honor Holocaust and Genocide survivors Photography Show Newest report finds new growth on rare Cotati albino Chimera Tree The work behind “The Art of Resistance” SRS has affordable family concert, Jan. 27, 3 p.m. RP Health Center ensures all children in school district receive dental care Volunteer's Corner Volunteer’s Corner Cross and Crown Church reaches the big 50 Community Events Calendar September 21, 2018 through October 4, 2018 SSU to buy 90-unit Petaluma complex for workforce housing Decker waves the baton at a concert Richard Crane fourth graders harness the wind Collaborating Together for Peace It’s “American” History It takes a village to honor its past Veterans story Mark Weston Volunteer's Corner Young accepts ‘prez’ of the RP Historical Society Community Events Calendar December 21, 2018 through January 3, 2019 Residents give high marks to Cotati living A new strategy for the Cotati Chamber of Commerce The Native Daughters host CA Admission Day Veterans Day 2018, Rick Norman Community Events Calendar November 23, 2018 through December 13, 2018 A lighter, brighter Cotati Vandalism at Gold Ridge Community Center Community Events Calendar December 14, 2018 through December 27, 2018 Community Events Calendar January 25, 2019 through February 7, 2019 Community Events Calendar March 8, 2019 through March 21, 2019 Discrimination and bullying in our schools Volunteer City of Cotati offers Thanksgiving week fun for kids Saving on energy and giving youth jobs DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint Volunteer's Corner Community Events Calendar February 8, 2019 through February 21, 2019 Rancho Cotati Rotary Club visited Thomas Page Academy RP Founders’ Day Oct. 6 30 years for Danny's vacuum shop Volunteer’s corner Home Instead partners with local businesses Large affordable housing project breaks ground in Rohnert Park Is your Carbon Monoxide detector chirping? Volunteer’s Corner RP celebrates “I Heart RP” Feb. 10 The Rohnert Park Sister City Committee is in full swing Backpack drive event this Sunday Who you going to call? Adapting to the weather changes SC Public Library Foundation needs directors Athena sits in ‘artsy’ Cotati Community Events Calendar December 7, 2018 through December 20, 2018 Cotati hosts award dinner Volunteer's Corner SC nonprofit arts and culture generates $80.4 M Community Events Calendar November 2, 2018 through November 15, 2018 Multiple Commission, Committee and Board appointive terms expire Dec. 2018 – We have seats to fill! Community Events Calendar November 30 through December 20 Volunteer's Corner Coffee with Cotati cops ‘Just Between Friends’ mega kids’ event Community Events Calendar September 7, 2018 through September 20, 2018 SAY launches One Cold Night Devil Pups set a new goal Celebrate the holiday season responsibly  Tips for a Grinchless holiday season Church of the Oaks crab feed Feb. 8-9 Miss SC Scholarship competition Kenneth Bradley, a local photographer showcasing Community Events Calendar August 17, 2018 through August 30, 2018 Staying safe on our local trails North Bay Construction Corps receives statewide recognition Don’t be a victim of a charity scam Be a resource for fire survivors Poetry Out Loud Sonoma County contest Community Events Calendar March 1, 2019 through March 14, 2019 Service dog dreams come true for heart attack survivor 20/30 club & Kohl’s outfit students Annual Sonoma County hunger index: 1/3 of residents went hungry in 2017 Volunteer's Corner Fun-filled Cotati stroll Celebrate Black History Month Heavy rain takes toll on drivers Garbage rate increase may keep compostable materials in county Sonoma County reads ‘Kindred’ Be a resource for fire survivors STEM at SSU Community Events Calendar February 15, 2019 through February 28, 2019 Japanese Internment Remembrance Day Community Events Calendar August 3, 2018 through August 16, 2018 A warm day with dancing and good food Community Events Calendar November 16, through December 6, Volunteers needed to ring a bell Volunteer's Corner Volunteer's Corner  Senior art show registration for artists age 60+ Mobility is freedom…with a Purple Heart truck run Train as a coach to help older adults prevent falls Rotary District 5130 provides multiple fire relief grants A New Coalition: Forming alliances for barn owls Seniors are targets for telescammers CTE Foundation invests in local schools Our invisible but critical water source SSU named one of the nation’s “Most promising places to work” Community Events Calendar February 22, 2019 through March 7, 2019 New Entrepreneur in residence at Sonoma State University Sonoma County STEAM Showcase Cross and Crown celebrates 50th Anniversary Monthly CalFresh benefits to arrive March 1 Explore foster parenting talk Feb. 25 Crew does a fine job Clover Sonoma supports free concerts for youth SSU Library presents ‘Alchemia’ exhibit Volunteer's Corner

A Veteran remembers Veterans

By: Lanny Lowery
November 9, 2018

Fifty years ago, when I received my honorable discharge from the United States Air Force at the ripe old age of twenty-one, I thought little about being a veteran. After all, I never saw combat even though I served four years during the Vietnam War. Being a veteran meant I would be receiving the G.I. Bill, going to college and purchasing a home.

It took me these fifty years to really understand what the word “veteran” meant to many others. One of my co-workers at a grocery store retired early because he was a victim of Agent Orange. My friend Louis returned from Vietnam shattered as he had escaped a security complex that had just been bombed. He watched it explode as many of his comrades were still there. Louis never fully recovered from this experience. He became one of thousands of the sad stories that ended in suicide.

Thirty years later I taught a book about Vietnam, The Things They Carried, to high school seniors. The stories told about the returning veterans that were just as sad, as stark, and as poignant as the ones told about soldiers in combat. It took me nearly twenty years to feel comfortable about sharing this book with students. Then it became imperative to show them real vignettes about the after-war effects on veterans. The writer, Tim O’Brien, covered war, love, and homecoming.

War approached me only once, in the middle of the night on the extreme northwest coast of Alaska in the summer of 1967. Two Soviet bombers moved swiftly towards the radar station where I worked. The scope showed the two blips until they were one hundred miles from the station. Suddenly, the screen filled with chaff and electronic jamming. We expected that the bombers would be overhead in ten minutes. This seemed like a clean and quick way to end things compared to what was happening to fellow military men in Southeast Asia. However, Air Force interceptors turned the bombers around at the key moment. We survived, but sixty thousand young Americans did not in Vietnam. And countless veterans like my friend who was a victim of Agent Orange and my other friend, Louis, victim of PTSD, and eventually, a suicide victim, did not. These are the veterans that I celebrate and remember every November 11th.

Love also came to many veterans. Some of us received the infamous “Dear John” letters. But my friend, Stu, found a lifetime of love as a young lady from southern California, Mary, joined a group of people who wrote letters to servicemen in Vietnam. As they corresponded, Stu and Mary began to discover a desire to meet when he returned. They did, and they have been married these past several years, and celebrate life with two wonderful children and some grandchildren.

Homecoming was romanticized after World War II in documentaries and Hollywood romances. Ah! To have that special girl run through the crowd and deliver that special embrace. I was there for a homecoming right after the Tet Offensive of 1968. I arrived at one bus station in San Francisco and had to walk the three blocks to the station where I would catch a bus to Marin County. Hundreds, maybe a few thousand demonstrators created a three-block gauntlet. I walked leisurely with Marine combat veterans who had just returned from Vietnam. Their jaws tightened as they looked at the crowd who shouted, “Baby-killers!” Those people threw things at us and spit on us. I knew that I would do whatever these Marines chose to do and thought that might involve physical confrontation. Just at a critical moment, a Marine major called all military men to attention, told us to stand down, and marched us through the obnoxious crowd to the other bus station. Welcome home!

This weekend I will recall my friends who were victims of war, my friends who fell in love because of war, and those unknown comrades who I marched with through a demonstration. I will honor my father, a highly decorated World War II veteran who became a victim of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, who suffered for twenty years after the war and finally ended that suffering tragically as a suicide victim.

I have avoided honoring veterans these past fifty years, I think, because denial is easier than confrontation. But the Vietnam lesson (ironically, I taught about Vietnam in history and English classes but missed the lesson until recently) proves that veterans and active military should be honored regardless of the politics that surrounded the time. Sunday, Nov. 11 let the military music resound from the RP Community Center, which starts at 2 p.m. Honor the veterans as they stand listening to the song that represents their branch of service. Be proud that our city holds these ceremonies and honors the current local members of the military near our library and along the RP Expressway.