This weekend we will celebrate Memorial Day. While you’re spending time with friends and family, I hope you can pause for a moment to remember the men and women who have served our nation and fought for our freedom. I can’t think of a more heroic act than to serve your fellow man, and our veterans are some of the heroes who have served all of us.
Today, more than a million men and women—including some of our community’s finest—keep us safe by serving in our armed forces. Millions more have served our country in the past with distinction and honor. These brave men and women put their lives on the line, sometimes having to give their lives so that we may freely enjoy ours.
This Memorial Day, our local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1900 will lead a memorial service to honor those who paid the ultimate price while serving our country. The ceremony is scheduled to start at noon at the Russian River Cemetery, located at 940 Low Gap Road, across the street from the Sheriff’s Office. If you cannot find parking at the cemetery, additional parking is available across the street in the county parking lots.
It is important to remember those who died for our country; it is also important to take care of those who made it home. Many veterans lived through horrific events and now struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include recurring memories or nightmares of the traumatizing event(s), sleeplessness, loss of interest in their daily activities, anger and irritability. Sometimes these symptoms don’t surface for months or even years after returning home.
The Veterans Crisis Line is an excellent resource for vets who are struggling. This confidential, toll-free service connects veterans in crisis with trained responders. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 or send a text message to 838255 to receive critical support 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The Veterans Crisis Line can also be accessed online at http://veteranscrisisline.net.
To recognize our local veterans, I am proud to report that the Ukiah Police Department is working with the City of Ukiah Community Services Department, local business sponsors, and individual donors to fund a new program called Hometown Heroes. This program honors Ukiah residents and their family members who are serving or have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Banners representing selected veterans will be displayed on lamp posts along the streets of downtown Ukiah from September 11 to November 11 to both celebrate the veterans’ service and to remind everyone in our community of our veterans’ dedication to helping others.
Each banner will include the veteran’s name, branch of service and photo. In addition to the banner, each of the selected heroes will have their photo and biography listed on the Hometown Heroes website and recognition posted on our social media platforms.
If you know an active servicemember or a veteran who deserves to be recognized as a hometown hero, you can nominate him or her online at www.ukiahhometownheroes.org.
Each application must include the serviceperson’s name, proof of honorable service and proof of residence. Applications must also include a brief biography (150 words or less) describing the serviceperson’s activities in the military and any other information that may relate to their nomination. You must submit applications by June 1.
If you would like more information or to support this program with a donation, please contact Mo Mulheren at Ukiah Valley Networking Agency, 304 N. State Street, Ukiah CA 95482 or (707) 391-3664.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.