Over the years, N magazine readers have sent in tributes to family members now serving, or who have served, in our armed forces. We thank those who share stories in our magazine pages.

This year, Virginia Ayers- Dawson recorded a vocal tribute to honor those that serve. She is a professional vocalist in Natomas and you can click on this link to go to her music video for 2011.

Virginia Ayers Dawson Music Video Tribute

Second Lt. Lauren Mills

2nd Lieutentant Lauren Mills was commissioned into The United States Marine Corps in February of 2011.

William R. I. "Easy" Smith

William R. I. "Easy" Smith served with A Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (The Wolfhounds) in Vietnam in 1967. William received 2 Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star with "V" device. Easy, as he is best known, is a lifetime member and past president of the 27th Infantry Regiment Historical Society. He serves on the Board of the VVA500 and is active in the veterans community. Easy travels a lot visiting veterans and families including trips to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii to support the Wolfhounds and other units of the 25th Infantry Division when they deploy and re-deploy. The Wolfhounds have 14 Medal of Honor recipients and more than 29 battle streamers; over 12 citations on its colors. Easy and the Wolfhounds have supported the Holy Family Home (orphanage) in Osaka, Japan over 60 years.

Natomas Rose Garden
Veteran Dedication

A portion of The Natomas Rose Garden was re-dedicated to our veterans in October. Be sure to visit the plaque and give thanks to those who serve our country.

The Rose Garden is located at the Natomas Community Center next to the South Natomas Library.

Rose Garden Dedication
to Those Who Served

After a ceremonial flag salute in the Natomas Rose Garden, Doug McDonald, first vice commander district 6 and post 604 of the American Legion dedicated this section of the Natomas Rose Garden with the following words:

In the name of District 6, Department of California, The American Legion, we dedicate this memorial. It is dedicated to the memory of those who fell in the service of our country. We dedicate it in the name of those who offered their lives so Justice, Freedom and Democracy might survive to be the victorious ideals of the peoples of the world. The lives of those who have made the supreme sacrifice are glorious before us; their deeds are an inspiration. As they served America in time of war, yielding their last full measure of devotion, may we serve America in time of peace.

We dedicate this monument to them, and with it, dedicate this district to the faithful service of our country and to preservation of the memory of those who died that Liberty might live.

Mc Donald was assisted with this dedication by some of the same veterans that were here for the original plaque mounting when the Rose Garden opened. Marni Leger, Natomas Rose Garden founder, was in attendance and was pleased to see the re-dedication take place.

Air Crewman Don Bailey

Don and Yvonne Bailey will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in January. Don Bailey served in the Navy for 8 years working with aircraft.

Lt Col Christopher Didier

Lt Col Christopher John Didier with wife Laura Olson-Didier and their sons. Lt Col Didier recently retired from the U.S. Air Force after 21 years of service. They are happy to be back in the Sacramento area where their parents and family members reside. Laura's brother Major David Olson has been in the Air Force over 15 years and is currently serving.

--- (above l to r) Richard Batchelor, Past District Commander, Post 61; Bob Velasquez, past district Commander post 447; Doug MacDonald, vice commander district 6, post 604; Larry Courtois, past post commander post 447

Wey Wong, USMC

1st. Marine Division, Korea Wey is the son of Chinese immigrant parents that created a military tradition. His brother Ed served in Korea and his brother Norm was a US Army Colonel in Viet Nam. Many in his family still serve our country.

Cpl. Odessa Taylor Marshall
Sgt. Joseph Marshall

Corporal Odessa Taylor (Marshall) served with the only African American Women's battalion to go overseas during World War II. Her husband Joseph Marshall also served in the Army. They raised 9 children and the eldest son, SFC John Marshall was a career soldier who served 30 years. He was scheduled to retire but re-enlisted to be with the young soldiers he had trained. While on a mission as a reconnaissance scout as they entered Bagdad, SFC Marshall was killed. He was the oldest service member lost in "Operation Iraqi Freedom" on April 8, 2003. Another son, James Marshall, served his country in Viet Nam while in the Army and granddaughter 2nd Lt Lauren Mills is currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Joseph and Odessa have been married 65 years.

Joseph Marshall