January 17, 2019
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Community Events Calendar January 18, 2019 through January 31, 2019 Volunteer's Corner Hub Cyclery celebrates another year Community Events Calendar January 11, 2019 through January 24, 2019 Recipes sought for B’nai Israel cookbook Welcome to a new year of reading and writing LIME Foundation partners with local organization Community Events Calendar January 4, 2019 through January 17, 2019 Volunteer's Corner Haute Flash takes the stage Elves clowning around A Cotati home has the Christmas spirit SSU Outreach and events coordinator changes Community Events Calendar October 5, 2018 through October 18, 2018 Would you make a great foster parent? Let’s talk Turkey Genealogy library hosts open house in Santa Rosa Community Events Calendar September 28, 2018 through October 11, 2018 Community Events Calendar December 28, 2018 through January 10, 2019 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 Gore in tune Community Events Calendar October 12 through October 25 Over 100 volunteers wrapping toys JavAmore, Caprara’s Pizzeria hold fundraiser Save Rancho Adobe FPD Sonoma Clean Power partners with Uber Homeless veterans receive greatest gift RP Expressway improvements Remo is ready for dessert SSU’s Sakaki names Griffin-Desta as new Chief of Staff Community Events Calendar August 10, 2018 through August 23, 2018 Get your hula on for the Penngrove luau A day at Thomas Page Academy Community Events Calendar September 14, 2018 through September 27, 2018 Pastis visits the Ranch 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 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 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 CPI North Bay fire recovery Sonoma Raceway hosts food drive American Sign Language and police departments Volunteer's Corner 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 Community Events Calendar September 21, 2018 through October 4, 2018 A Veteran remembers Veterans SSU to buy 90-unit Petaluma complex for workforce housing Decker waves the baton at a concert Richard Crane fourth graders harness the wind It takes a village to honor its past Volunteer's Corner Young accepts ‘prez’ of the RP Historical Society Community Events Calendar December 21, 2018 through January 3, 2019 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 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 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? 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 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 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 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 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 Garbage rate increase may keep compostable materials in county Sonoma County reads ‘Kindred’ Be a resource for fire survivors 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 Mobility is freedom…with a Purple Heart truck run Train as a coach to help older adults prevent falls Seniors are targets for telescammers

Veterans story Mark Weston

  • Mark Weston Photo by Bill Hanson

By: Bill Hanson
November 9, 2018

At ease on his deck, looking out over his vineyards and live oak, Mark Weston reflected back on his time in the military. As a boy, Mark dreamed of being a special forces guy when he grew up, “They were so heroic how could any boy not want to be a Green Beret.” Mark did well in high school in L.A. He wanted to live anywhere other than L.A. His application to UC Boulder, Colorado was accepted. His drive to do well in school quickly left him and he left college to find himself. It was 1967 and Vietnam had become the hottest issue on peoples’ minds. Based on what happened to some of his friends, Mark knew he had only a month or two before the draft caught up to him. Instead of being drafted he opted to pick his own service.

“I did well in mathematics and understood the geometry of aiming and setting coordinates. Without really thinking about it I could see in my mind’s eye where a shot would end up.” This put him squarely in the mortar pit during training. In January 1968 he was stationed in Vietnam with the storied 101st Airborne in the A Sa U (phonetically: Ah Shah) Valley near the DMZ. As a green trouper he, along with others, were harassed by the more seasoned troops. Since he was assigned a mortar specialist, he and the other three in his squad were thrown into a pit to see how ‘skilled’ they were. The first three of the four flunked and were tossed out in disgrace. Then it was Mark’s turn. He hit the mark on the first try. The soldiers went wild and turned it into an ‘event.’ Money changed hands and he hit the mark spot on with the second shot. Then it got serious: the major challenged him to another shot, and this time, he would set the target. A lot of money was wagered. The major hopped into the pit and kicked over the mortar, then chose a target upwind of the first. “OK son, let me see you hit that one.” Mark reset the mortar, took the coordinates and calculated the azimuth of the shell. The mortar fired and hit the mark. Mark was given special privileges and promoted on the spot. 

Although not the Green Beret hopes he coveted as a boy, the Army Rangers offered him a position to train for their units. He accepted and became an official Army Ranger. He was assigned long range recon patrol (acronym: LURP). In May of 1968 his unit was bedded down in an area of enemy activity. At 3 a.m. their position was attacked, his position was overrun by a ‘sapper’ what we call today a suicide bomber. Mark took a large piece of flak in his left hip and in his lower right leg. He lay where he fell until the attackers left at dawn. The medic tried to stop the bleeding, unsuccessful at first, he improvised with an inflatable sleeping mat. He cut it open and wrapped it tightly around Mark’s wounds and put another wounded man on top of Mark to add pressure. It worked, the bleeding stopped and he was ordered to evacuate on the first Huey in. Unfortunately, that one was blown out of the air and Mark was loaded into the second EVAC and taken to a M.A.S.H. Field hospital. They couldn’t help him and he was off to Japan where they did surgery on his wounds. The first doctor unwrapped the wound and said, “Wow! Look at this!” as he pulled out a six-inch metal fragment. After the surgeries and recovery, Mark was then transported back to the States where more surgeries were done to repair the damage, do skin grafts and to rebuild his hip. Fifty years later he said, “I still have pain every day, I will always have pain, I know that now. I try to keep busy taking care of my place so I don’t think about the pain.” Mark is now part of the Federal Disaster Medic system. When a disaster hits, they are deployed to set up emergency field operations. There is also a California team C-DEMAT which works closely with the Federal program. Mark is now head of the San Francisco regional disaster response team.