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Four Sacramento-area service members among 14 honored at Capitol Park’s Vietnam memorial

Fourteen names were added to the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Saturday in Capitol Park, including four service members from the Sacramento region, according to the California Department of Veteran Affairs.

The memorial site honors Californians who died as a result of their service in the Vietnam War, whether during combat or later in life from illnesses, physical injuries or medical problems that stemmed from their military service. Saturday’s event included an unveiling of the veterans’ names engraved onto the memorial.

Of the 14 veterans honored, four lived in the Sacramento region: U.S. Army Spc. Dennis Wilburn Williams and U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ronald Van Westburg, both of Sacramento; U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Gregory Keith Hodson; and Sgt. James Allen Gray of Auburn, who served in the U.S. Air Force.

“We honor the valor and sacrifice of our fallen service members, while we also mourn their suffering and loss,” said Vito Imbasciani, the California Department of Veterans Affairs secretary, in a statement about the ceremony.

Every year, the California Vietnam Veterans Honor Committee is tasked with adding the names of Californians killed during the war or who died afterward due to service-related injuries. There are more than 5,600 names inscribed onto the memorial site, according to the California Department of Veteran Affairs website.

Here is a list of names added to the memorial site on Saturday:

▪ Cpl. David Joseph Betti, U.S. Marine Corps, of Ventura

▪ Spc. 5 James Brady, U.S. Army, of Stockton

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James Allen Gray of Auburn California Department of Veterans Affairs

▪ Sgt. James Allen Gray, U.S. Air Force, of Auburn

▪ Lt. j.g. Gregory Keith Hodson, U.S. Navy, of West Sacramento

▪ Spc. 4 Ernest Allen Meekins, U.S. Army, of Helendale

▪ Sgt. George Richard Neal, U.S. Army, of Oakley

▪ Spc. 4 Thomas C. O’Hare, U.S. Army, of Long Beach

▪ Seaman Jerry Ray Oliver, U.S. Navy, of Modesto

▪ Spc. 4 Thomas William Reilly, U.S. Army, of Tacoma, Wash. (born in Los Angeles)

▪ Lt. Harold Stuart Roach, Jr., U.S. Navy, of Los Angeles

▪ Spc. 4 Victor Mario Salas, U.S. Army, of Sonora

▪ Sgt. Richard P. Susoeff, U.S. Air Force, of Marysville

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Ronald Van Westburg of Sacramento California Department of Veterans Affairs

▪ Lance Cpl. Ronald Van Westburg, U.S. Marine Corps, of Sacramento

▪ Spc. 4 Dennis Wilburn Williams, U.S. Army, of Sacramento.

Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets

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