Veterans

COVID-19 is more than a statistic, it’s personal

By Eloise Gomez Reyes, California State Assemblywoman, representing the 47th Assembly District. The deaths caused by Covid-19 are so much more than daily statistics that don’t fully capture the emotion and pain of the tragedy behind each death.  Behind each death and illness is a life story, a family and a legacy.  It is more than a pandemic. Yes, it is personal! Two-and-a-half weeks after being diagnosed with COVID-19, my uncle Tio Joel succumbed to the disease that has claimed the lives of almost 9,000 Californians, hospitalized thousands more, shut down businesses, churches and schools, and kept us away from friends, colleagues and loved ones. Joel R. Gomez was born on July 13, 1942 in Jalostotitlan, Jalisco, Mexico. The 7th of 8 children. My dad, Isaias, was the first born.  His father died when Joel was 8 years old, and eventually his mother (my grandmother) moved to the U.S. and settled in San Bernardino. Growing up in San Bernardino he worked hard to get his piece of the American Dream and eventually purchased a Plymouth Fury that was his pride and joy throughout his life and that…

Colton World War ll veteran, Jess M. Chavez, turns 101 years young

Colton native Jess M. Chavez, born April 25, 1919, just celebrated his 101st birthday. Chavez, a WWll veteran, was celebrated on Saturday, April 25, in a precautious CODIV-19 way. “I was contacted by Jess’s daughter Lorraine a few weeks ago and we discussed the potential to host a birthday parade, but ultimately we decided on hosting him a brief and intimate front yard celebration, where everyone stood at least six feet apart,” said Colton Councilmember Dr. G (Luis Gonzalez). About 50 of Chavez’s closest family and friends met outside of his home off Olive Street, in Colton. “The most special portion of the 30-minute long gathering was that Chavez had five generations of family present at his birthday gathering. He had his kids, kids’ grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren,” continued Dr. G. As guests began to arrive at Chavez’s home, he came out of his home to be greeted by dozens, before he used a microphone to thank everyone. “Thank you all for being here, all of this means a lot to me,” Chavez said. As Chavez put away his microphone, his grandkids passed out mini…

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