Veterans’ Day Weekend in the San Diego North County

By Roy Cook

We were in the mist of courage and among many American Patriots of the hills and the valleys. Pauma reservation re-dedicated their Veterans memorial tribute in the Tribal cemetery 11/9/13 at 11am.

Honor guard, firing squad and bugler were under the direction of the American Indian Veterans Association, AIVA. It is led by Ben Magnate from Pauma, US Army Korean conflict veteran. A.I.V.A Color Guard/Honor Guard members include: Ervin Morales/USA La Jolla, Tim Ravago/USA Pala, Al Golding/USN/Mesa Grande, Felix Pena/USMC Mesa Grande, David Duro/USA Pala, Elizabeth Kolb/USA Rincon, Adam Rodrigues/USA 82nd Airborne, Abel Rodrigues, Virgil Osuna/USA Santa Ysabel. Also, MIA - Andy Wilson/USA Santa Ysabel, Kyle Feldt/USA Pala, Lalo Rodrigues/USA 82nd Airborne.

Many of these men I grew up with on the Santa Ysabel Reservation all served in the military during the Vietnam era. Some of the older boys then, men now, saw service in the Korean era. Every so often one or two of the WW II veterans will come around. What is most remarkable is how many volunteered to serve from a relatively small population on the 21 bands of tribal Americans in San Diego County.

Pauma family members checked carefully for their family members names in the black granite donated by the Pyramid Company. It was stated that the granite would be replaced with a brass plate in the future and everyone was asked to inform the committee for better accuracy on the future brass version.

The AIVA color Guard brought in the colors and firing squad for a rifle salute. They also led the Pledge of Allegiance and the priest provides the prayer and blessed the monument.

Lunch in the Pauma Tribal Hall followed the dedication. I was a fine meal of prime rib, mixed vegetable mashed potatoes and gravy and a fresh bun. Soft drinks, water or coffee were in abundance and many variations of fruit and berry pies satisfied everyone’s sweet tooth. Well pleased with the activity and full from the excellent lunch many attending continued on to the Sleeping Warrior Veterans Pow wow that afternoon and the next day at the youth campground on the Pala Reservation. Finally, Santa Ysabel Reservation will host veteran Day activities at the San Felipe cemetery at 10 am and Santa Ysabel cemetery an hour later.