Soboba Veterans Honored


The Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians Youth Council wanted to be sure that military veterans buried at the Soboba Cemetery were properly honored for their service to America by hosting a Memorial Day Ceremony on May 25.

Deacon Andrew Orosco of St. Joseph Mission, adjacent to the Soboba Cemetery, gave a blessing at the Veteran’s Memorial during a Memorial Day Ceremony on May 25.

In preparation for the event, the youth spent the morning of May 21 placing flags on the graves of more than 50 veterans who are buried there. Because of the uncertainty if the annual event would be able to be held amid the coronavirus crisis, last minute cleaning and maintenance was entrusted to the Soboba Public Works Department. In past years, the youth have cleaned at the time they place flags.

Soboba Fire Department Captain Raul Licon and Soboba Youth Council member Jesse Garcia place a flag on the gravesite of a veteran at Soboba Cemetery on May 21.

Roo Briones said it’s important to her to participate in these activities because the future is up to all youth and they need to learn what to do and how to do it.

“It is good for the tribe to recognize our veterans for their contributions,” said Roo, 14.

Leah Lopez said that many veterans got injured or died in the process of serving our country and she feels it is a good thing that the tribe honors them.

Soboba Youth Council Co-coordinator Andy Silvas is also director of Soboba Parks and Recreation. His department and members of the Soboba Fire Department were at the cemetery to help youth locate the veterans’ graves and make sure the flags were secure at each one.

“This event is about those who have fallen in service to our country to secure the freedoms we have today,” Silvas said. “We can’t forget them.”

Prior to the Soboba Youth Council taking over the annual project about four years ago, Soboba Elder Marian Chacon said she and her family and friends volunteered their time to do it. She attended a youth council meeting about four years ago and suggested they take it over.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of our youth,” Chacon said. “My mom and aunt started this many years ago and I used to help them. When they passed, I continued to do it on my own for about 10 or 15 years. I’m so glad the youth council is doing such a great job with it.”

Jeremiah Ramos was proud to personally place flags on his grandfathers’ graves – one who fought in World War I and the other in WWII. He said honoring the veterans with flags and the ceremony on Memorial Day shows the love and respect for veterans that they deserve.

“Our veterans need to be noticed for what they did in protecting our country,” said Iyana Briones, who has been the youth council’s chairwoman for three years. “They stood up for us and some gave their lives for us, so we need to show we care and that we noticed.”

A Memorial Day Ceremony at Soboba Cemetery included a roll call of veterans buried there, read by Roo Briones and Emma Organ.

About 50 people assembled around the stone and granite Veteran’s Memorial at the north end of the cemetery on May 25. The Rev. Earl Henley of St. Joseph Mission at Soboba offered prayers for the veterans, our nation and all its citizens.

A memorial roll call of veteran tribal veterans and non-tribal veterans buried at Soboba Cemetery was read by youth council members Roo Briones and Emma Organ. After the 15-minute ceremony, guests were invited to a drive-through brunch at the Sports Complex hosted by Soboba Youth Council. To-go boxes were filled and taken to each vehicle that arrived at the east side of the gymnasium.

Soboba Youth Council members delivered to-go boxes to guests who chose to take advantage of the drive-through brunch they organized, following the Memorial Day Ceremony.

In memory and honor of those who served:

Soboba Tribal Veterans

U.S. Air Force: Louis Vivanco

U.S. Women’s Air Force: Gloria Cozart, Jessie M. Gilmore

U.S. Army: M.J. Apapas, Daniel Arres, Leonard Arrietta, Ralph C. Arrietta, Robert Arrietta, Robert Bentiste, Peter F. Castello, Benny C. Helms Sr., Reginald P. Helms, Romaldo A. Helms, Martin Hurtado, Joe John Lala, Tiefielo F. Lugo, Danny Navarro, David Navarro, Ernest Salgado Sr., Albert Silvas, Allynn Silvas, Daniel Silvas, Frank “Chico” Silvas, Joe “Jody” Silvas, Eloy Soza, Frank Soza

U.S. Marine Corps: Larry C. Boniface, Paul Boniface, Paul A. Resvaloso, Prudencio Resvaloso, William P.  Soza, John V. Valdez, Carmel P. Valenzuella

U.S. Navy: Norbit Arres, Theodore P. Arres, Marcus E. Mojado, Michael Soza

Non-Tribal Veterans

U.S. Air Force: Bruce Cozart, Philip Rodriguez, James Walker

U.S. Army: Eugene Arenas, Miguel Briones, Refugio R. Garcia Jr., Orvin D. Gilmore, Ben Largo, Arthur R. Lopez Sr., Mariano S. Largo, Leonard Lubo, Senon Lubo, Richard Macy, Peter O. Morillo, Pio Morillo, James P. Navarro, Mariano Tortez

U.S. Navy: Foster Hurtado Sr., Andrew Jackson, Fred Miranda Sr.

The Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians Youth Council wanted to be sure that military veterans buried at the Soboba Cemetery were properly honored for their service to America by hosting a Memorial Day Ceremony on May 25.
Members of the Soboba Youth Council helped organize a drive-through brunch for guests who had attended their Memorial Day Ceremony at the Soboba Cemetery at 11 a.m. on May 25.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe to The Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle


More like this

A measure of inflation that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve increased in April

A key index of U.S. prices ticked higher in April, and consumer spending rebounded, a sign that inflationary pressures in the economy remain high.

Biden says debt default deal ‘very close’ while deadline now set at June 5

President Joe Biden said a deal to resolve the government’s debt ceiling crisis seemed “very close” late Friday, even as the deadline for a potentially catastrophic default was pushed back four days until a week from Monday.

New construction, falling population could combine to end California’s housing crisis

This month Californians worried about the cost of housing were offered the rarest of gifts: a glimmer of hope. New numbers released by the Newsom administration show that California added homes to its housing stock at a faster clip than any time since the Great Recession — 123,350 additional units, or an increase of 0.85%.

White House vows more federal aid to reduce homelessness in 5 cities and California

Five major U.S. cities and the state of California will receive federal help to get unsheltered residents into permanent housing under a new plan launched Thursday as part of the Biden administration’s larger goal to reduce homelessness 25% by 2025.