Veterans Day Ceremony celebrates past and current military members

They also participate in Hollister’s first Veterans Honor Walk.
Family of Brandon Navarro watches VFW Post 9242 member Adam Mendolla hang Navarro's banner. Photo by Jenny Mendolla Arbizu.
Family of Brandon Navarro watches VFW Post 9242 member Adam Mendolla hang Navarro's banner. Photo by Jenny Mendolla Arbizu.
VFW Post 9242 member Mike Pulido (right) reads the names of Memorial Tile recipients. Photo by Jenny Mendolla Arbizu.
VFW Post 9242 member Mike Pulido (right) reads the names of Memorial Tile recipients. Photo by Jenny Mendolla Arbizu.

The Hollister Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9242 held a Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11 at the Veterans Memorial Building on 649 San Benito St. 

The ceremony, which began at 11 a.m., was followed by a Veterans Honor Walk at 1p.m. on San Benito Street. All U.S. veterans were invited to walk down San Benito Street from Fourth to Seventh streets and stopped at the Veterans Memorial Building. 

VFW Post 9242 Commander George Nava welcomed the crowd of approximately 200 people, and thanked representatives of the VFW 9242, Foreign Wars Auxiliary, Wreaths Across America and the Pinnacle Quilters for being present. He also thanked the veterans in attendance. 

“I would like every veteran to stand and be honored,” Nava said. “These are the men and women who served our country.”Veterans, living and passed, as well as current service members, were honored in three of the ceremony’s presentations. Pinnacle Quilters of San Benito County member Diane Mezerkor presented quilts to five United States veterans and VFW Post 9242 member Mike Pulido read names of the deceased veterans who received memorial tiles placed in the gated portion of the Veterans Memorial Building’s courtyard.

U.S. military service members currently serving received Hometown Hero banners that were hung by VFW Post 9242 after the ceremony. Post 9242 member Adam Mendolla read the names of the recipients as family members were asked to stand behind the chair displaying their loved one’s banner. 

“It has given me such great honor to do this program for seven years, and to put up banners for our servicemen and women who are now serving our country,” said Post 9242 member Bernie Ramirez, who began the banner program in 2014. 

“I can’t thank them, and the families behind them, enough.”

Estella Garcia, mother of banner recipient Brandon Navarro, 27, said she was thankful for the banner program. 

“I’m so glad they acknowledged him,” Garcia said. “It’s a big deal.”

Quilts of honor recipients

  • John Filice (in memoriam), U.S. Army, World War II
  • Jerry Foshee, U.S. Navy, Vietnam
  • Jesse Grant, U.S. Army, Iraq
  • Anthony P. Gutierrez, U.S. Army Infantry, Vietnam
  • Richard Steele, U.S. Army, Military Police Dog Handler 

Veteran memorial tile recipients 

  • Chief Warrant Officer 4 Richman, U.S. Air Force, US Army
  • Specialist E-4 Lupe Sosa, U.S. Army, Vietnam 
  • Gene Castro, U.S. Navy, Korea 
  • Private First Class Allen A Clayton, U.S. Navy, Coral Sea
  • Robert Bob Joseph Valenzuela, U.S. Army
  • Layton Lee Stephens Sr., U.S. Navy
  • Specialist E-5 Hart Donald, U.S. Army
  • Master Sergeant James D. Perales, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam 
  • Private First Class, Bedolla, U.S. Army, Kuwait 
  • Sergeant Leon Robert, U.S. Army Air Corp, World War II
  • Staff Sergeant Harry Forbes, U.S. Army, World War II
  • Specialist E-5 Williams James, U.S. Army, Vietnam
  • Private First Class Santiago D. Echaore, U.S. Army, World War II 
  • Airman 3rd Class Frances “Dolly” Devasier; U.S. Air Force 
  • Corporal Henry Frances Pulido Solorio, U.S. Army Active Component, U.S. Air Force
  • Staff Sergeant Carlos Bedolla, U.S. Army, Vietnam
  • Specialist E-5 Daniel Carreiro, U.S. Army, Vietnam

Hometown Hero banner recipients

  • Primo Reyes, U.S. Air Force
  • Brandon J. Navarro, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Tabitha Blair, U.S. Army
  • Ryan J. Evans, U.S. Navy
  • Nathaniel Chavez, U.S. Navy
  • Tyler Kashiwagi, U.S. Navy
  • Christian G. Peake, U.S. Navy
  • Matthew Diekmann, U.S. Army
  • Elijah Gallegos, U.S. Navy


We need your help. Support local, independent news!BenitoLink is a nonprofit news website that reports on San Benito County. Our team is committed to this community and providing essential, accurate information to our fellow residents. It is expensive to produce local news and community support is what keeps the news flowing. Please consider supporting BenitoLink, San Benito County’s public service, nonprofit news.

Jenny Mendolla Arbizu

Jenny is a Hollister native who resides in her hometown with her husband and son. She graduated from San Benito High School, and received her BA in Literature from UC Santa Cruz and her MA in Education from San Jose State University. Jenny has written for the Hollister Freelance, San Benito Magazine and South Valley Magazine. She finds joy in meeting new people in San Benito County and in spotlighting the county’s events and businesses. When not writing, Jenny can be found cuddling with her fur-babies, performing with SBSC, singing with the Hollister VFW, or doing rope climbs at Cold Storage CrossFit.