A Special Benefit for a California Vietnam Veteran's Son

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by Donna Teresa, Staff Writer

Rick Losoya Sr. has been coaching and teaching in Salinas California schools for many years. Currently, he is a baseball and football coach at Everett Alvarez High School. What many people probably do not know about him is that he is a Vietnam veteran. He served as a Marine attached to the 1st Marine Division in 1968-69.

There have been times I have tried to talk to Losoya about his time there, but he just never has felt comfortable sharing. I have learned that sometimes some things are just better left unsaid. Those were difficult times for him. One painful moment was the loss of his older brother Marine Lance Corporal Ernest Felipe Losoya, who was killed in action on December 19, 1965 in South Vietnam while serving with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Division. Lance Cpl. Losoya’s name can be found on panel 4E, Row 28 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial "The Wall" in Washington, D.C.

It always warms my heart to see Losoya’s sisters attend every Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day event at the Monterey County Vietnam Veteran Memorial in Salinas where their brother’s name is also inscribed. Without fail, the Losoya family attends every event to remember their fallen brother. I’m always looking out for them and I’m always so moved by the love they obviously have for each other as brothers and sisters. And as always, it is great to see Rick Losoya attend when he is able to with his wife Dolores.

     

Losoya went on with his life after coming home from the war and married Dolores and raised Yvonne and Rick Jr. in Salinas. Many years later, he fights a different battle, one to help his son and family. Earlier this year, Rick Jr., a local sports official and umpire, was diagnosed with a large brain tumor.

He immediately had it removed surgically. However, because of the surgery and recuperation time, Rick Jr. has been unable to work and financially, times have been difficult for his wife Sally and young children Christina and Rick III.

Community efforts are moving forward with a celebration and benefit to help this young family. On March 7 at the Salinas Golf and Country Club there will be a golf tournament which begins at noon. The cost is $110 a person, which includes prizes, golf cart and entrance to the dance and music celebration which will follow at 7:30 p.m. at the Fox Theatre in Salinas. For those who just wish attend the dance and listen to "RYZE the Band" (http://www.ryzetheband.com) the donation is $25 per person.

Rick Sr. is grateful for the outpouring of good wishes and support from the community. "Ricky is doing better but he does need help to avoid the loss of his home and pay for other expenses. Tough times help bring our already close family even closer. This can happen to anybody. We are getting a great response to the event and that is appreciated" says Losoya.

A true product of the sixties, one of the favorite words of Rick Sr. is "groovy." Rick Sr.: You are one groovy marine and father with a wonderful family. Rick Jr.: I wish you a speedy recovery and hope you are feeling better real soon.

These are tough financial times, but please find it in your hearts to send a donation to help the Losoya family. I know they will put it to good use. Thank you Central Coast for your generosity as always.

If you like to golf or just listen to some great music, come on out to these special events to help the Losoya family. For further information, contact Brian Russell, 408-655-5835 or Yvonne Losoya Carreon at 831-449-5708.

Donna Teresa may be reached at [email protected]. Homefront Journal Donna Teresa writes about a special benefit for a local Vietnam veteran’s son, only at www.montereyherald.com

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