Tracy’s veterans saluted
by Sam Matthews
Nov 12, 2012 | 2688 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Veterans remembered
Walt Rueda (left), representing Korean War veterans, and Don Ridolfi, representing veterans from World War II, join in laying a wreath at the Tracy War Memorial during the Veterans Day ceremony Monday, Nov. 12.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
view slideshow (8 images)
Standing before the Tracy War Memorial during Veterans Day observances Monday, Nov. 12, Vietnam War veteran Fred Gowan and featured speaker said the granite monument is another example of Tracy’s “glowing community pride and spirit.”

“I’m proud to call Tracy home,” said the retired Army major. “Our town and community are blessed with solid, patriotic and outstanding leadership at both the city and county level.”

Gowan earned the Distinguished Flying Cross while serving two tours of duty in Vietnam as a U.S. Army helicopter gunship pilot. He said Tracy still exudes “those qualities that provide communities with cohesiveness and a strong foundation for growth.”

A Tracy resident since 1988, Gowan also pointed to what he considers Tracy’s “community acceptance and welcoming” of a growing multi-ethnic community.

“Many of these new citizens are veterans or have family members who currently serve in the armed forces,” he said. “Their contributions to the quality of life in Tracy add to the overall level of friendliness.”

During the program, Mayor Pro Tem Mike Maciel presented a proclamation from the City Council recognizing “the contributions made by veterans in the service of their country and their community.”

Maciel also mentioned that he attended the breakfast served Saturday, Nov. 10, morning to veterans by students at Kimball High School. He said it was heartwarming to see that young people of Tracy “are recognizing the contributions veterans have made to our country.”

Mike Maloney, a Vietnam War veteran wearing his Air Force special operations camouflage uniform at the Veterans Day program, also was at the breakfast at Kimball High and echoed Maciel’s appreciation.

At the conclusion of Monday’s Veterans Day program, veterans of four wars — Don Ridolfi, World War II; Walt Rueda, Korea; Von Gates, Desert Storm; and Kevin Tyner, Iraq — placed a wreath in front of the War Memorial in honor of the nation’s military veterans.

• Contact Sam Matthews at 830-4234 or

• Editor's note: This story was corrected from an earlier version that gave an incorrect date for the Kimball High breakfast.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
November 12, 2012
To all veterans, thank you for all you and your families have done for this great country. I will always be humbled in your presence and feel truly honored to live under the freedom you help provide us with everyday.

We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at