Calipatria State Prison (CAL) staff paid tribute to not only our nation’s veterans, but also our local veterans, with the third annual Veterans Memorial Ceremony earlier this month. Meanwhile, Wasco State Prison-Reception Center held a run in honor of veterans.

By Lt. Everardo Silva, AA/PIO
Calipatria State Prison

Calipatria State Prison (CAL) staff paid tribute to not only our nation’s veterans, but also our local veterans, with the third annual Veterans Memorial Ceremony earlier this month.

The event featured guest speakers Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia; Capt. Brent Alfonzo, Commanding Officer for the El Centro Naval Air Facility; Robert Avila of the Imperial County Veterans Service Office; and Brian Paul,  Associate Warden of Business Services for CAL.

“First and foremost, let’s begin today by recognizing all those among us who have given themselves in service to our nation,” said Claudia Saldana, Community Resource Manager for CAL. “All your sacrifices and those of your family’s have helped to keep our country safe and free.”

The event took place at a memorial to veterans that Calipatria staff raised $21,000 through donations and fundraising to purchase in 2015.

Nancy Carrillo, Material and Stores Supervisor I at CAL, sang the National Anthem and God Bless America. Additional music was provided by the local Calipatria High School Band who played America the Beautiful.

Associate Warden Paul, a veteran of the Marine Corps and National Guard, read from a poem: “The definition of a veteran – whether active duty, retired, National Guard, or Reserve – is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America, for an amount up to and including my life.

“We enjoy our freedoms because of the sacrifices veterans are willing to make for us and this great nation,” he said.

He thanked our veterans for their service to our country and told the crowd this site “will remind people every day of the diligence, professionalism and patience shown to us by our nation’s veterans.”

Capt. Alfonzo talked about his career in the Navy. He shared his experience with guests of his service with a helicopter antisubmarine squadron.

“Without selfless people willing to endure those struggles, our nation would not have been born and certainly not have survived, let alone prosper,” he said.

Capt. Alfonzo said he was humbled by the gesture shown to veterans by CAL staff for recognizing the day to day sacrifices made by veterans.

Wasco staff run to honor veterans

Staff who served in the U.S. armed forces ran around Wasco SP in honor of Veterans Day.

By Lt. Martin Herrera, AA/PIO
Wasco State Prison-Reception Center

In honor of all past and present military veterans who have served in the U.S. armed forces, Wasco State Prison-Reception Center held a Veteran’s Day run on Nov. 9.  All branches of the armed forces were represented as military veteran employees participated in the 1.5-mile run around the institution.

Those who couldn’t participate in the run came out to show their support. The event was capped off with a cake cutting ceremony in which the youngest and eldest veterans were specially recognized.

“It was a touching experience listening to some of the personal stories shared by the veterans,” said organizers. “Thank you all for your service.”

The oldest and youngest veterans share a piece of cake.