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Manteca, Lathrop & Ripon remember

Brock Elliott School honors namesake who fell in Vietnam

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Manteca, Lathrop & Ripon remember

Carl Stappenbeck was part of last year's Veterans Day observation at Library Park.

Bulletin file photo/


POSTED November 10, 2010 3:24 a.m.
Veterans Day observances are being held Thursday in Manteca, Ripon and Lathrop.

In Manteca, the event will be held where it always takes place every year – at the Library Park on East Yosemite and Poplar. It will begin at 11 a.m. This year, the event is coordinated by the McFall-Grisham American Legion Post 249 with Post Commander John Aguilar serving as emcee.

The American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Jimmie Connors Post 6311 of Manteca take turn organizing this patriotic observance every year.

The program’s main speaker will be Charles Palmer, Sr., the father of Marine Charles Palmer III who was killed in action in Iraq. Designated to take the place of recently re-elected mayor Willie Weatherford as the representative of the City of Manteca to the ceremonies is Councilman John Harris.

Several youth groups will be taking part in the program as well, Aguilar said. These include members of the Calla 4-H, the Manteca Rainbow Girls, and the Manteca High JROTC which will be doing the honors of posting the colors. Music will be provided by Heather Winston, a graduate of East Union High School and is now a sophomore at California State University, Stanislaus.

“I like to get the youth involved. They always do an outstanding job,” Aguilar said.

Veterans Day at Ripon Memorial
The Veterans Day observance in Ripon will be held Thursday at the Veterans War Memorial and American Legion Hall located on the corner of Second and Locust streets. The program will begin at 10:30 a.m., said Bill Hunter who is coordinating the ceremony.

Speakers will be Mayor Chuck Winn and Charles Root, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who is also currently in the reserves.

Doing the honors of laying the wreath on the Veterans Memorial Wall will be Councilman Red Nutt who is also the Commander of the American Legion #190 of Ripon, and Ripon VFW Post 1051 Senior Vice Commander Tracy Crawford.

In the afternoon, from 1 to 4 p.m., there will be a barbecue lunch available at the VFW Post 1051 Hall at 12455 West Ripon Road. Donations will be accepted.

Lathrop Memorial Wall, Brock Elliott School
For the third year in a row, Lathrop will hold its own Veterans Day observance and program at the city’s Vietnam Memorial Wall located at Valverde Park. The memorial wall was completed three years ago as part of the $4 million rehabilitation and improvement of the Park. The Veterans Memorial Wall is located next to the Senior Center and the interactive water feature and rose garden. Behind the memorial wall is a full bocce ball court and improved basketball courts.

On the memorial wall are granite plaques containing the names of Lathrop’s own sons in the military who gave their all in the service of their country, from World War I to the war in Iraq.

Last year’s featured guest speakers were Pastor Mike Dillman of The Place of Refuge Church in Manteca, and Father Dean McFalls, former pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Lathrop. McFalls is now pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Stockton. Pastor Dillman is a veteran of the Vietnam War.

The Veteran’s Day observance at Brock Dennis Elliott School will be held on Friday at 9:30 a.m. Called “Brock Elliott Day,” the event is traditionally held the Friday that is closest to Veteran’s Day. The observance is in remembrance of the first Manteca soldier to die in the Vietnam War, in whose memory the school was named. The school was dedicated in 1989.

Among those attending Friday’s day of remembrance will be members of the fallen soldier’s family and local veterans. Featured speaker will be Caroline Thibodeau, Manteca Unified’s director of Health Services who is also a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve.

Free car wash for all veterans Thursday
In honor of all veterans and to thank them for their service to their country, Quicki-Kleen Car Wash in Manteca is offering a free complimentary car wash to all veterans on Thursday during their business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gas station and car wash is located on the corner of East Yosemite and Washington Street.

The free car wash is part of Grace for Vets, a nationwide program founded by Mike Mountz. This year, there are 586 companies and 1,380 car wash locations in all 50 states participating in this program for veterans. Quicki-Kleen is one of 50 car washes in California, and the only one in Manteca, taking part in this event.
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