Trail Brothers to Provide Free Horseback Riding to Veterans

Miranda Raulinaitis, Elmets Communications  |  2019-05-23

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Veteran owned business, Trail Brothers LLC, will celebrate the grand opening of their equestrian services at Gibson Ranch Park by offering free guided horseback trail rides to veterans and their families this Memorial Day – Monday, May 27 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Those interested in taking advantage of the free guided trail rides must schedule their session in advance by visiting

Zachary Leyden, CEO of Trail Brothers, served as a combat veteran and is thrilled to launch his equestrian services at Gibson Ranch.

“Gibson Ranch is a beautiful park and the perfect destination for veterans and their families to pack a picnic and celebrate this Memorial Day,” said Leyden. “We feel privileged to provide our services on the exceptional trails.”

The Veterans of Foreign Wars will also be selling their “buddy poppies” to celebrate American military service members.

As part of an ongoing partnership with Gibson Ranch Park, Trail Brothers will provide guided trail rides, pony ride and other equestrian services to guests following the Memorial Day grand opening. Gibson Ranch Park is located at 8556 Gibson Ranch Road, Elverta, CA 95626

For more information, please visit:                                        

About Trail Brothers
Trail Brothers began in 2016 and is owned by Zachary Leyden and Kalea Bell. The company provides equestrian services from trail rides, pony rides and horse training to kids camps and riding lessons at three different venues in California. Veterans ride free at all three venues.

About Gibson Ranch Park
Gibson Ranch is one of Northern California’s best family destinations. Located less than fifteen miles from downtown Sacramento, this amazing natural resource offers a wide-range of activities from hiking, to concerts and sports of every kind.

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - Memorial Day will be celebrated on May 27, this year. Memorial Day, not to be confused with Veterans Day, is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Veterans Day on the other hand celebrates the service of all U. S. Military veterans.

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, originated after the American Civil War in 1868 to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. The end of May seemed to be appropriate since many spring flowers are available.

By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor All Americans who have died in all wars in the past 240 years.

Every year, Sylvan Cemetery in Citrus Heights honors those that gave their lives in the defense of their county. This year the Memorial Day service will be held on Monday, May 27, 2019, at Sylvan Cemetery, 7401 Auburn Blvd., Citrus Heights.

The ceremony begins at 10:30 am with a march through the historical section of the cemetery, stopping briefly at each flag station to read a prayer and salute the flag.

The men marching include the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary, VFW, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Sons of the American Revolution, Boys Scout troop 228, Police Officers of the Citrus Heights Police Department and all others that wish to march. The march will last about 30 minutes.

The march will conclude at the gazebo where there will be a one-hour ceremony from 11:00 am to 12:00 am. Many of the men marching will be in uniform – past and present – from American Revolution to modern day.

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SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada (VOA) has launched a 40-bed transitional housing and employment services program for veterans experiencing homelessness in Sacramento County.

The program provides furnished temporary housing in individual studio apartments, meals, life skills and financial management classes, pre-employment and vocational training, employment placement assistance, substance abuse support, housing location and transportation services to single male and female veterans. This program is funded through a grant awarded to VOA from the Veterans Administration and is the only “Service Intensive Transitional Housing” program for Veterans in Sacramento County.

“We are very excited to add this invaluable program to Volunteers of America’s existing services for veterans in Sacramento County at Mather Community Campus,” says VOA Division Director, Sherman Haggerty. “This program will allow a unique group of veterans the extra time and help needed to meet their goal of achieving independent living.”

This program offers the first new transitional housing beds for homeless veterans in Sacramento County, in over three years. The housing units are conveniently located at VOA’s Mather Community Campus adjacent to VOA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families, Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program and the Veteran Service Center all located on the same campus. These housing units are also conveniently located near Sacramento’s Veterans Hospital Administration Hospital. Additional housing units are currently under construction at the Mather campus which will increase local housing inventory.

Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada provides specialized programs for homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in the Greater Sacramento area. Services include rapid re-housing, case-management and homeless prevention. A large focus is heavily placed on increasing veteran men's and women's employment possibilities through life and job skills classes. 

Founded locally in 1911, the Northern California & Northern Nevada office of Volunteers of America is one of the largest providers of social services in the region. The professional paid staff operates more than 50 programs in categories that include: crisis housing, supportive housing, employment and training services, and corrections. In fact, Volunteers of America provides shelter or housing to nearly 1,800 men, women and children every night in Northern California. Nationally, Volunteers of America helps more than 2.5 million people annually in more than 400 communities. Learn more about Volunteers of America Northern California & Northern Nevada at

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Young Marines Units from Across the Nation Salute

By Andy Richardson, GR-PR  |  2019-01-04

Four youth members of the Sacramento Young Marines in Carmichael were part of a wreath laying ceremony in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 6, and they marched in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade on Dec. 7. The Sacramento Young Marines joined 125 Young Marines from across the country for Pearl Harbor Remembrances.  Photo courtesy Andy Richardson, GR-PR

Traveled to Hawaii for 77th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (MPG) - One hundred twenty-five youth members of the Young Marines from 25 separate units throughout the United States traveled to Hawaii to participate in the 77th anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance.

Four youth members of the Sacramento Young Marines in Carmichael were part of a wreath laying ceremony in Pearl Harbor on December 6, and they marched in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade on December 7. The Sacramento Young Marines joined 125 Young Marines from across the country for Pearl Harbor Remembrances.

The Young Marines along with the leadership of the American Legion, Marine Corps League Hawaii, and Vietnam Veterans of America Hawaii, performed a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, the Punchbowl, in memory of all the brave men and women who are interred there.

A significant honor for the Young Marines was leading the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu. They carried the banners of the 12 capital ships that were attacked. The parade’s objective was to honor the heroes and survivors of Pearl Harbor and World War II, to pay tribute to veterans, active duty military members and military families, to celebrate freedom and to keep in remembrance the heinous events of Dec. 7, 1941.

In addition, the Young Marines cleaned-up three beaches, Ft. Hase Beach, North Beach, and Pyramid Rock Beach, at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

“The Young Marines met some of the survivors of that historic event of 77 years ago,” said Col William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “Those veterans are, in every sense of the words - living history, and each has a story to tell. It is an honor for Young Marines to meet these veterans and memorialize the one who are no longer with us.”

Young Marines units raised funds at their local level to supplement the costs of traveling to Hawaii to attend the remembrance ceremonies. Young Marines used their creativity, and applied the program’s core values - leadership, teamwork and discipline - to implement unique and effective fundraising efforts.

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c (3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline, so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to 270 units with 9,000 youth and 2,600 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Japan, and affiliates in other countries.

For more information, visit the official website at:

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Toys for Tots Gift Drop-off at Vet Center

By Elise Spleiss  |  2016-12-15

Congressman Ami Bera with Santa and participants at the 2015 Toys for Tots toy drop off event. 
--Photo courtesy of the Citrus Heights Veteran’s Community Center

It’s “Toys for Tots” time again at the Citrus Heights Veterans Community Center. The local Marine Toys for Tots Foundation collects and distributes toys at Christmas for needy children in the greater Sacramento area.

Congressman Ami Bera has sponsored this event with the Community Center since its inception in 2013. He will be present with his staff to celebrate with the community.

Volunteers from the Veteran’s Community Center will first be at the Citrus Heights Walmart on Friday, Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 pm. to accept your donations of new, unwrapped toys and other gifts for children of all ages.

Then on Saturday, December 17, the official toy drop-off begins at 9 a.m. at 6921 Sylvan Road, and continues until 2 p.m. Just drive up to the Center and deliver your donation into the hands of a U.S. Marine.

Have your picture taken with Santa and inspect a World War II Jeep and other military memorabilia. Also volunteering will be the Casa Robles R.O.T.C. and Citrus Heights Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

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Sacramento Region Honors the U.S. Naval Construction Force

Source: City of Rancho Cordova  |  2016-11-03

Rancho Cordova’s 11th Annual Veterans Day Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 11 to remember our veterans and honor the missions of the U.S. Naval Construction Forces (Seabees).

Did you serve in the U.S. Naval Construction Forces? You are cordially invited to Rancho Cordova’s Veterans Day Ceremony to be recognized for your service.

The ceremony will be held in the Veterans Memorial Plaza at the Sacramento VA Medical Center, 10535 Hospital Way at Mather. Pre-program entertainment will begin at 9:30 a.m. followed by the commemoration program at 10 a.m. Music entertainment will be provided by the Rancho Cordova River City Concert Band, featuring the “Song of the Seabees.”

The Seabees’ motto of “We Build - We Fight” recognizes the work of the members of the U.S. Naval Construction Forces. The Seabees have a history of building bases, bulldozing and paving thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips, and accomplishing myriad other construction projects in a wide variety of military theaters dating back to World War II. The word “Seabee” comes from the initials “CB,” which comes from the term “Construction Battalion.”

The Seabees first became active on March 5, 1942 during World Water II when U.S. involvement was expected on both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. More than 100,000 Seabees were trained during World War II and have continued to serve since. The Seabees now include 7,000 active personnel and 6,927 reserve personnel.

Ceremony speakers will include Congressman Ami Bera; Senator Jim Nielsen; Assemblyman Ken Cooley; Kathryn K. Bucher, Associate Director of Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive at VA Northern California Healthcare System; Rancho Cordova Mayor David Sander; and Rancho Cordova Council Member Robert J. McGarvey, who spearheaded the first Veterans Day and Memorial Day events in Rancho Cordova. The Vultures Row Aviation Team will provide a flyover towards the end of the ceremony.

The ceremony is sponsored by the City of Rancho Cordova, the Department of Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System, AlphaGraphics Rancho Cordova, and Republic Services.

Rancho Cordova City Hall will be closed on Friday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. For more information about the event, please call (916) 851-8700.

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Veterans 7th Annual Appreciation Picnic

By Paul Reyes with Elise Spleiss  |  2016-09-15

The girls of Girl Scout Troop 223 were eager to help serve the veterans and went above and beyond their own service during the day.

On Saturday September 27th Citrus Heights held its 7th Veterans Appreciation Picnic at Rusch Park. Some 400 Veterans and their families came to this annual event to spend a day relaxing, listening to music, checking out the many veterans’ resources, and hopefully winning one of the many great raffle prizes.

The event was collaboration with the Citrus Heights American Legion Post 637, members of GFWC Citrus Heights Women’s Club, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 637, Citrus Heights Lions Club, Reichert’s Funeral Home and others who donated food, supplies and the many raffle prizes.

This year’s guest of honor was Alejandro Jauregui of Williams, CA. Jauregui served two tours of duty in Iran and was on his second tour in Afghanistan in 2012 when he stepped on an IED, resulting in the loss of both legs.

Jauregui commented in a text, “I’m very grateful and honored to be chosen as this year’s honoree. WWII vets are often referred to as the “greatest generation”, but I know military friends and I often spoke about how indebted we are to the Vietnam vets. They went through hell and came back to hell and have made sure that our nation’s vets never go through that again.”

Also honored was Sgt. Jason Baldwin of the Citrus Heights Police Department as Police Officer of the Year. His accolades were too many to mention but suffice it to say he deserved the award.

Police Chief Christopher Boyd and his family were also in attendance. Boyd was recognized with a Certificate of Commendation for his 10 years of service as our Chief of Police. Boyd will be stepping down as police chief to become the new city manager, replacing Henry Tingle who retires the end of 2016.

New at this year’s picnic were two “Missing Man” tables, the traditional military version and, continuing with our solidarity with the Citrus Height police officers, a Missing Man memorial was built to remember all police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The Legion received a very appreciative thank you from the police department for this memorial as it meant quite a bit to them all.

The CHPD provided their imposing emergency rescue vehicle, a gutted army tank, a 2009 Navistar Maxxpro MRAP, as a popular photo opportunity.

Horses Healing Heroes, 4 Paws 2 Freedom and Canine Companions for Independence were a resource favorite, matching up these animals with our veterans. Dozens of other veteran and non-profit resources were available.

Attendees again enjoyed the traditional BBQ lunch of hot dog, hamburgers, and hot wings prepared again by Wild Wade’s BBQ & Grill of Citrus Heights. Members of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 637, GFWC Citrus Heights Women’s Club and the Lion’s club provide hundreds of cookies and beverages.

Our day was a big success and we look forward to another great event next year!

Contact: Paul Reyes, Commander American Legion Post 637; 916-743-2008

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