Christina Marapao

Beth Aragona

These two partners in Natomas' Pregnancy Journey, met while working as labor and delivery nurses at Travis Air Force Base. Here are two families making a difference. Christina's father, Chief Petty Officer Al Cruz spent 23 years in the Navy and served in Vietnam.

CPO Al Cruz

Christina joined the Army after high school and was a Combat Medic in the Reserves. She met her husband, Duane, while serving in the same unit. With an Officer Training Scholarship, she was commissioned into the Army Nurse Corps. At Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany, she was an obstetrical nurse and aided during the Kenya Embassy bombings. She received more specialized training in Hawaii. Christina left the Army, moved to California, and was commissioned in the Air Force at Travis AFB.

Duane Marapao with Isabella

Duane enlisted and decided to become a Military Police Officer in the California Army National Guard. He fights fires for the City of Sacramento, and is now in Iraq for 12 months. Duane and Christina's daughter, Isabella, was the inspiration for Pregnancy Journey.

Tom Grosshans

Lt. Col. Tom Grosshans, Beth's father, was in the Air Force 22 years and served in Desert Storm. He is now a Captain for Southwest Airlines.

Beth was commissioned as an Air Force Nurse after college and was a surgical nurse at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. She served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Beth spent 5 life-changing months in Germany caring for war casualties and would do it again if asked.

Noel Aragona

Capt. Noel Aragona, Beth's husband, enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed in Germany. He transferred to Travis AFB where they met. He finished his Bachelor of Science degree and was commissioned into the Air Force Nurse Corps. Noel, an ER nurse, is currently in Afghanistan. Beth left the military after the birth of her twins Emma and Jack. She is also mother to 13-year-old Ally.

Christina and Beth are thankful for their experiences and friends they've made. They are truly proud to have served their country and are now serving our community.

Carlos Tavarez
--- from Randy Tavarez

Carlos, a conscientious objector, was drafted into the Army and would become a valuable combat medic. He was assigned to the 25th Division and served in Viet Nam as a field combat medic for ten months. He received a Bronze Star and more, before his honorable discharge. "I went in an innocent 19-year-old and came out a combat-hardened, 40-year-old veteran."

LTC David A. Ceniti
--- from Sonya Dixon

LTC David Ceniti is the Battalion Commander of the 749th Support Battalion, a California Army National Guard unit deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has been deployed previously and is a veteran of the 1990-91 Persian Gulf War. David joined in 1988 and has been with the California Army National Guard for 15 years. He has been a resident of Natomas for seven years.

CPL Andalecio Pacheco
--- from Paulette Gonzales

On November 11, 1940, Andalecio Pacheco met the love of his life, Pauline. Andy enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941, married Pauline in 1942, and served his country till the end of World War II. Andy was stationed in Texas and England. Andy's family settled in Northgate where he still resides with Pauline. Andy celebrated his 92nd birthday on October 10th. His family is extremely proud and honored to be part of his life.

Sergeant Glenn Priego
--- from Gina Priego, sister

Glenn passed away in March. Our family has lived in Natomas since 1942. My big brother, sergeant Glenn Priego served in Viet Nam with the 102nd Air-Borne Rangers. He received a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and other medals.

He told harrowing stories of being sent into tunnels to search out the enemy. As with many, he had a hard time after returning. He continued to contribute to his community by cooking holiday dinners and volunteering time for veterans. We will never forget you. Aloha from your family.

TSgt Philip Hagemann
--- from Leah Peracca, grandaughter

In 1943, my grandfather Philip Hagemann left his family farm to join the military. He became a TSgt in the Signal Corp and later the famous Flying Tigers. He sent almost every penny he earned back to his family to help them out. This year he celebrated 90 years, surrounded by family, including 6 great grandchildren. To this day he is the most fair and honest person I know. Sometimes stubbornly so! He is part of the reason I became and AF officer. Thank you for your service Grandpa and for setting such a great example for all your future generations!

Staff Sergeant
Qi Wan Jackson Liang

--- from Candy Li, sister

Our brother Staff Sgt. Qi Wan Jackson Liang is serving our country overseas in Baghdad, Iraq. He is will return home sometime in November. Jackson is a 2003 Natomas High School alumnus. He has been in the Army since graduation and is a hard-working soldier. He is a hero to his family as well as America. We are proud of his accomplishments. We love you Jackson!

PFC Scott Bain
--- from Roland Bain

Scott enlisted in the Army in 2009. He attended communication school at Fort Gordon, Georgia. He was able to be at home for a month for which we are grateful before his deployment to South Korea for a year.

Scott is a 2007 alumnus of Inderkum High. He excelled in soccer and had played for on Fred Howell's Natomas League soccer teams since childhood.

PFC Tyler Newman
--- from Dodie Newman

PFC Tyler Newman, 21, graduated from Natomas High in '07. Following 16-years of high school and Division 1 college soccer, Tyler enlisted in the US Army. After his training at Fort Benning Georgia, he will be an indirect fire infantryman. Tyler's long-term goal is to become a police officer when he returns to civilian life.

SSG James P. Beck
--- from Josi Juarez

James joined the Army in 2005 and spent 15 months in Ramadi, Iraq in '07 and '08. He served as a tank gunner, vehicle commander and dismount team leader. He was deployed last year to northern Baghdad and was assigned to A Company 3-69 Armor Battalion.

In 2008, James married Kristina Juarez, a ten-year resident of north Natomas and CSUS graduate. James will return in December.

Captain Leah Peracca
and TSgt Michael Peracca

At the time this picture was taken, I was a Lieutenant. I am now a Captain stationed at Travis AFB. I work in the medical squadron and joined the military in 2006. Next to me is my husband. TSgt Michael Peracca. He is a crew chief on KC-10's, also stationed at Travis AFB. Michael has spent 4 years active duty and has been in the reserves ever since for a total of 16 years.