LARC NEWS Posted: 11/11/2019 5:52:28 PM


               A patriotic opening ceremony, a celebration of the American Legion’s 100th anniversary, military vehicle and equipment displays, historical war exhibits in the main lobby and grandstand viewing area courtesy of the California State Military Museum, live music, and free interactive activities, games and pony rides for the children were all part of the inaugural Honoring Our Veterans Night at the Races at Los Alamitos Race Course on Saturday evening.  

            The event was also highlighted by 20 veterans and military members from the Orange County community being honored and hosted in the winner’s circle at Los Alamitos throughout the night’s racing program. Elected officials, which included California State Senator Tom Umberg and representatives from the offices of Congressman Harley Rouda, Assemblyman Tyler Diep, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel, plus Los Alamitos city council member Dean Grose and Cypress city council member Mariellen Yarc were on hand to honor and salute the veterans and military.

            The opening ceremony included the presentation of the colors of the United States by the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps Seal Beach Battalion followed by the singing of our National Anthem by Specialist Robert Dorais from the California State Guard.

Lieutenant Colonel Galo M. Pesantes led those in attendance on the pledge allegiance followed by the invocation in honor of Veterans Day by Chaplain Jonathan Lee.

“It was an honor for all us at Los Alamitos Race Course to host veterans and military members from our community and thank them for their service to our country,” said Orlando Gutierrez, marketing director of Los Alamitos Race Course. “We are so thankful to the many volunteers that also provided support and joined us in this special night at Los Alamitos Race Course. “

Members of the 40th I.D. Military Band performed the call to the post for the horse races throughout the night and also performed a wonderful rendition of God Bless America along with theme songs for each branch of the military. The live musical entertainment for the evening was provided by Newport Beach’s The Fabulous Nomads, longtime supporters of veteran causes. 

            The veterans recognized at the event included: William John Kull, who served in World War II and was awarded two Bronze Stars and served in the Battle of the Bulge, Frank Passarelli, a Navy and Vietnam veteran, Leif Meisinger, who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and an Army veteran, Ernie Delgado, Purple Heart recipient and a Marine veteran, Bob Davis, who was awarded Cold War, Good Conduct and Service Medals and is an  Army veteran of the Korean War, and Beverly Bonney – a Navy veteran and Commander of the Army Ranger Sergeant Thomas R. McPherson Post 857.

            Also recognized were: Jane Weller, who was awarded two Bronze Stars for serving in active combat zones during World War II; U.S. Navy veterans Ricardo Guillen and Joseph Taylor and retired Navy Military Working canine Talpi with Navy veteran Crystal Tronboll; William Hoffarth, a US Coast Guard veteran, and Rodney Weiss, a retired Chief U.S. Coast Guard veteran; Brigadier Army General Robin Umberg, Richard W. Lalor, Colonel, California State Guard and Public Affairs Officer at the Joint Forces Training Base, and Thomas Bell, US Army veteran;   Raymond D Godeke - U.S. Marine Corps veteran; Larry Stuppy, Air Force veteran, Frank Barry, Air Force veteran and an active member of the Veterans Affairs for the Vietnam Veterans of America, and Ana Maria Broussard of the Air Force and a multiple award recipient. 

             Over 1,500 were in attendance at Los Alamitos Race Course on this evening, which also feature a live nine-race program. Los Alamitos Race Course owner Ed Allred, spent two years as a captain in the medical corps - a year in Virginia and a year in Saigon, Vietnam. He received a Combat Medic Medal for service in South Vietnam in 1967. For more information, please contact Los Alamitos Race Course at 714-820-2690.  


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