Veterans Tribute

Class of 1965 Veterans Remembered

Thank you for your service to our country and the state of California.  Santa Ana High School Class of ’65 American Flagis proud of you . . . we recognize and are grateful for the commitment to service you made for all of us.   If we are fortunate enough to discover others who should be on our list, please let us know and they will be added.
(NOTE:  A Veteran’s Meetup was held at 11 AM Sat., Aug. 22 at SAHS, immediately after the Tour.)


Gilbert Acuna   US Army (Deceased)
Mark Leslie Angell     US Army (Vietnam)
David Murray Ault  US Army Reserve MASH Unit
Dan Kaye Baier   US Army (Berlin)
John Bergland    US Army (Vietnam)
Donald Berkheimer  U S Army (Vietnam)
Thomas Arthur Broderick   US Navy
Robert Bunch   US Air Force (Deceased)
Dale Gordon Deckert     US Army
Ernie Del Rio    US  Army
Michael Wayne Downey     US Army
Brian Dunn  US Air Force (Vietnam ’66-70) US Army ’80-92,     (Operation Iraq Freedom ’06)
Robert Townley Durnell     US Army
Robert D. Fainbarg   US Army Reserve
Gerald Wesley Farney     US Navy (Vietnam)
Richard Murray Field     US Army
Dan Carl Fisher     US Navy, Hospital Corp (Japan)
Richard Sam Funcich     US Navy
Danny Garcia   US Army (Vietnam)
Ed Garza  US Army (Vietnam)
Thomas John Gibbons   US Air Force (Vietnam)
Edward Jean Heinrichson    US Army (Vietnam)
Bryn Jerald Henderson   US Army (Vietnam)
Dennis Philip Hill     US Navy (Vietnam)
Robert Lewayne House  US Army (Vietnam) (Deceased)
Russell Wilbur Johnson II US Army (Vietnam 9th Infantry Division)
Steven Miles Johnson  US Air Force (Vietnam)
Gary Kelley   US Army (Vietnam)
Earl William Killingsworth     US Army (Vietnam)
Steven Lara     US Air Force
Dennis Larry Lien     US Army (Vietnam) (Deceased)
Harold G. Lumley     US Army (Vietnam) (Deceased)
Ken Mallory   US Army (Vietnam) (Deceased)
Charles A. Merrilees    US Army (Germany)
Brian Clayton Mucciaccio     US Army (Vietnam)
Oris Virgil Mullins   US Navy (Viet Nam)
Tom Nieblas   US Army
George O’Campo   US Air Force
Norman S. Owens    US Air Force  (Vietnam, Southeast Asia)
David J. Palomino   US Navy (Vietnam)
Charles Leland Patrick     US Army (Vietnam)
Gregory Anderson Pearse    US Army
Richard S. Peralta      US Army (Vietnam)
Richard L. Porter US Air Force (Vietnam & Southeast Asia)
John Charles Richardson   US Army (Fort Ord, Germany)
Stephen Michael Rios     US Marines
Edward Allen Robinson    US Army (Medic, Germany)
John Phillip Roquemore     US Navy  (Vietnam)
Nick Robert Sanden    US Army Reserve MASH Unit
Gary Sauvageau    US Air Force (Deceased)
Jeffrey Shetler   US Air Force (Vietnam)
Thomas Lee Slaback   US Navy
John Floyd Terry   US Army  (Vietnam)
Dale Keith Tilton     US Air Force (Iceland and Taiwan)
Denis Lee Velarde    US Air Force  (Guam)
Ed Velasquez     US Navy (Vietnam)
Richard K. Westerdoll  US Army (Germany)
Frederick Lee Whitaker     West Point  US Army (Vietnam)

“All Gave Some, Some Gave All”

PFC Ronald Jerome Dent Casper   US Army Medic
Deceased –  March 3, 1968 (South Vietnam)

CPL John Stuart Hunt     US Army                   Deceased – October 12, 1970     (South Vietnam)

PFC Richard Shannon Russell     US Army Deceased – January 29,   1968 (South Vietnam) (see Memories page for obituary)

California Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Sacramento                       Photograph by Ed Velasquez


NOTE:  There will be a “VETERAN’S MEETUP” on Saturday,  11AM at SAHS, right after the SAHS Tour.

66 thoughts on “Veterans Tribute”

    1. Thanks John. We appreciate and value your service to our country and are glad you let us know about it. You are now listed on the Veteran’s Tribute page.


    2. John, I do not know if we have every said thank you. Thank you my friend. Michele and Mel

  1. My first tour right out of Navy boot camp. Danang Vietnam ’66 ’67. After that 2 years on CLG-5 Oklahoma City, Light Guided Missle Cruiser.

    1. Thanks David. That must have been a shock right from boot camp. I’m sure you have stories. Thank you for your service.

      1. Please add Gilbert Acuna to Vet. list. He was Army and did his tour in Nam. He passed away a few years ago. Thanks for doing this.

    2. David, was your cruiser on Yankee Station with TF-77?
      I was with a Miramar Squadron VFP-63 in Air Wing 21 on CVA-19, USS Hancock. We were Flag for the Carrier Battle Group and the Flag Officer was Admiral George Morrison, (father of Jim Morrison of The Doors), no kidding! The Admiral was a really cool guy, Navy Fighter Pilot and all that stuff.
      See you soon,


  2. I (Denis Velarde)served in the U.S. Air Force on Guam
    Bobbie Bunch served in the Army (Vietnam ,deceased)
    Gary Sauvageau served in the USAF(deceased)

    1. Thanks Denis. You are now on the Veteran’s Tribute page, as is Bobbie and Gary. Can you tell me more about each of them? Did they die in military service? or afterward? Where did Gary serve?

      Thanks for your service to our country.

      1. I’m not sure what took Gary,I tried to reach him a few years ago and found he had recently passed.He survived the military and was living in Idaho I believe.
        Bobbie was my next door neighbor and great friend here in Arroyo Grande for many years.We split some acerage long ago and built our homes.Bobbie fought Cancer for some years,it took him in November of 2014.

  3. I left for Viet Nam the day after Robert Kennedy was shot. Unlike most, I left Tacoma Washington on a ship which took three weeks to reach Viet Nam, stopping only once in the Philippines. I was in a Preventive Medicine unit(disease prevention and control) which included water purification testing but primarily I spent most of the time trapping rats. The rats were disease carriers and the big worry was bubonic plague.
    The rats needed to be caught alive since if they died, the fleas would leave a cold body. I was there from June 68 until June 69. p.s. Upon reaching Fort Ord, Ca. for basic training, I ran into Ernie Del Rio.

    1. Hey, Mark. Thanks, for real, for your service. I was Army aviation `70-71, II Corps, Lane AHP. One day after flying long, hot and tired I handed in my flight report and was handed a set of orders as the “Vector Control Officer” for the unit. Aviation, artillery, etc., have/use vectors to divide up areas of operation. So, hey, I was somehow to become part of operational air traffic control, separating airspace and aircraft. HA!! Then I found out that title meant I was to be, basically, a dog catcher, like you, to prevent the spread of disease. I never caught a dog but still caught and eliminated a bunch of “bad guys” and turned a lot of fuel into noise. Again, thanks for being a brother in arms. Thanks, too, to your family as they did without you and worried about you. Marianne and I hit the big 50 this past August, but she didn’t want to attend the reunion as we dealt with her father being taken by Alzheimer’s — finally released to the Creator on Sep 9th.

  4. Hi Barbara, here is another addition for the SAHS Veterans List.
    Gary Kelley served in the US Army, Vietnam

    Re: Gary Sauvageau, Gary was in the US Air Force and served as a crew chief on C-141 aircraft for the Military Air Lift Command based out of Norton Air Force Base in California. He passed away in 2008 after a battle with cancer.

  5. Robert Lewayne House, US Army, deceased after serving. Enlisted in 1965, served 9 yrs. and reserves.

    1. Our families (Mendez, Nieblas, Peralta, Rios, & many more), are recognized by the state as the indigenous people of what is now called Orange County, CA.
      Many of our people have served in the military of the United States in support of the freedoms that of all people who call America their home enjoy every day.

  6. I served in United States Air Force. Served in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Class of 1965.

    1. Thank you Richard, for your service and for letting us know. I hope you will share more about your experience there.

      1. Airborne Electronic Warfare Missions on EC-47 Aircraft. Stationed at Pleiku Airbase in Central Highlands of Vietnam. All of my missions were conducted over Laos during 13 month commitnent in 1968-1969. I was fortunate to be able to leave it all behind me and have enjoyed life to the fullest.

  7. 1966-1970 USAF Served at Danang, Vietnam
    1980-1992 ARMY
    2006 Recalled for Operation Iraq Freedom
    2007 Medically retired

    1. Thanks Brian. Wow. You’ve made a career in service, from 1966 through 2007. You have seen a lot from Vietnam to Iraq. You’re on the list. I noticed you have a new email address from our records. I’ve fixed the records and will forward to you today’s email.

    2. Hey, Brian. Marianne just arrived home and we found your posting, among others, whom she knew well. We were sorry to hear about Cathy. Also, I had a 5-yr break in service and, disappointedly, had to spend the Iraq war in Hawaii — if I read between the lines correctly, we thank you for your sacrifice. May you continue to heal, heart, mind and soul, too.
      Marianne says a big “”HI, Brian!””

    1. Hello Arline,

      I look forward to seeing you again.
      By the way, do you still have that seagoing resort, and did you ever find the executive chef you were seeking?

  8. For those who came home, and those who didn’t, please know you have honor and respect from us. There are none more deserving!

  9. It was a rare privilege to ” serve” our American Military as a crewmember of my last airline. We transported hundreds of thousands of U.S. Soldiers in and out of Kuwait City during the war in Iraq. My greatest joy was to thank them personally for their service to me and our country…….and to bring them home:0)

      1. Hi Eddie!
        It was my pleasure to serve our troops….many thanks to all of you who sacrificed heart and soul for us♡
        See you in august….

    1. How cool Sharon, When people tell me “thank you for your service” I say I would rather hear, “Welcome home!” My service: 67- 69, 173 Airborne Infantry. Never happier/glad to get back. Was great seeing you at the reunion. You are as beautiful as before.

  10. I was so sad when I learned years ago that Richard Russell had died in Vietnam. We went through elementary school together and I remember him as such a sweet boy. A kind heart.

    1. Basic and AIT with Richard .Flew to Nam with Richard we arrived 20 Nov 1967, got seperated in Ahn Khe Richard went to B 1/5 Air Cav and I went to B 1/8 Air Cav. I went to Valley.

  11. This is a lovely tribute. I wish I had spent more than a couple of months my senior year with the class. My husband is a Vietnam Vet, not a member of the SAHS alum but still so proud of him!
    Jane Hague Rizzone

  12. Although I’m not on the above list, I spent 18 months in Vietnam with the 9th Infantry Division. I was in an aviation unit. The month after I got out of the Army I received word that John Hunt had been killed. He was one of my best friends and I still keep a picture of him displayed. I don’t think his parents ever recovered from their loss.

    1. Russell thank you so much for getting back to us with this information. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge of John and telling us of your own service. You are on the Veteran’s Tribute page now.

  13. US Army, 67 – 69. 173rd Airborne Brigade, Infantry, Vietnam, 68-69. I prefer “Welcome Home” to “Thank u 4 ur service” Currently anti-war activist. Arrested 3 times for civil disobedience.

    1. Hi Eddie, one of my former work colleagues was in the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam about the same time you were. His name is Ted Sparkhul and he lives in San Juan Capistrano.
      I look forward to seeing you at the reunion.

    1. You’re now on the Veteran’s Tribute page. Thanks for letting us know, and for your service. We do hope to see you at the Reunion!

  14. US Army 69-71 Boot Camp at Fort Ord then a year and a half in Germany. Wrote COBOL programs for IBM computers.

  15. I was drafted in 1967-1969 into the Army. stationed in Berlin, East Germany as an armored personnel driver.

  16. After reading these comments, I am having second thoughts about not coming to the reunion. I was in Vietnam from Feb. 69 to Feb. 70 in the US Army stationed at Camp Evens north of Hue. In high school I hung around with Chuck Patrick, Mark Angell, and Dale Tilton; all veterans. I’m sorry I lost touch with these wonderful guys after graduation.

  17. Drafted into army November, ’67. Volunteered for Paratrooper training, sent to Vietnam June, ’68 – June ’69, assigned to 173 Airborne, 3/503 Infantry, in Central Highlands, trained to be mortar man, 81mm. Wounded in September, had a couple weeks off before returning to unit. Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress about seven years ago. Became peace activist after 9/11 before war with Iraq. Ive been arrested for Civil Disobediance three times including at Lorreta Sanchez office in GG. Member Military Families Speak Out and Veterans For Peace. I’ve decided to go to reunion this year, hope to have a good time with old friends.

  18. Please add Ken Mallory to the veteran’s tribute page for SAHS. He was class of ’65. Enlisted in the US Army as an MP and did two tours in VN, first one in 1966 second in 1968. He passed away in 1981. Wonderful human being, made the world laugh.

    1. Sheila-
      Thank you for letting us know about Ken. He will be on the tribute page as of end of Veteran’s Day, today.

  19. Jeff Troxell should be added to the Veterans Tribute. He was a Navy Seal. He died some years later in Mulage (Mu-la-hey) Mexico, in a diving accident. He was my friend.

  20. US Navy 1970-1974 (Joined over the Memorial Day Week)
    I served on the USS Samuel Gompers AD37 my first year and then as a Command Center Quartermaster for ComSubPac in Pearl Harbor, HI. My total time at sea was less than one day. I sailed from Long Beach to San Diego. I’m in a sea going rate, living on land, on a three year vacation in Hawaii. The Navy got it right when they made me a Quartermaster, and I lucked out when I landed a great duty station. I almost stayed in, but I knew the Life of Reilly wouldn’t continue.

    Most of the officers with whom I worked had either held a ship command or had been the executive officer of a ship or submarine. Working with these line officers was both an enjoyable and a learning experience from which I did grow.

    USNR 1980-1982
    Later, I served in the SeaBees in a reserve unit along with my older brother Leon (class of 1963). We were both Builders (carpenters). Neither of us, however, worked as carpenters for our careers. It was an acquired skill learned from having worked with our father who laid hardwood floors and was a carpenter. In fact, it was he who laid the hardwood floor of the Smedley Junior High gymnasium when it was first built.

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