July 16, 2018
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Expo honors and remembers local vets

  • Margaret Patrizi, Mary Lou Loustalot, Rose Howak, Maura Mooney and Emily Sousa, all veterans, are standing below the banner of the Redwood Empire Military Women Unit # 77 during the veteran's appreciation expo held Saturday at the Cotati Veteran's Building. Irene Hilsendager

By: Irene Hilsendager
June 22, 2018

The grassy area of the Cotati Veteran Building in Cotati was dotted with pop-ups portraying many different types of veteran organizations, a jumpy house and face painting. It was a Saturday afternoon of warm breezes and memories of another era. The event was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati in appreciation of veterans who are serving and have served in various branches of service. This was the first veteran’s appreciation day event with many more to come.

A free delicious luncheon was donated and served by Sally Tomatoes and so graciously donated by Rotarian Gerard Guiduce. Team leader Rotarian Robert Stewart and his committee did the veterans proud. Upon saying good afternoon, the veterans were so appreciative of being involved with the group. 

Guest speaker was Brian McKeown, who spoke on the challenge of transitioning to civilian life. Paul Ballanger, a WWII vet told of his memories of the “big” war and also sang some of his own songs by Gene Autry and Roy Rogers accompanied by a rendition of yodeling.

Luis Ortega spoke on enriching the lives of American veterans. Many tables displayed beautiful models of ships and the staging of a battle field. Some of the organizations present were the Red Devil Pups, DAV, Post 40 Sonoma County and Veterans of Foreign War. If you wish to learn more about this event and would like to participate in the next, contact Bob Stewart at 707-765-4898.