In small towns like ours, we tend to see the same people whether we’re shopping downtown, dropping kids off for school, attending local events or volunteering. I wonder if this feeling of connectedness is one of the reasons so many people choose to serve our community. I think this is one of the most special things about Ukiah—I see service everywhere.
Our kids learn to serve through their activities in scouting, 4-H, Future Farmers of America, youth sports, S.P.A.C.E., and a host of other activities our community offers.
And as adults, we are constantly finding ways to serve. We work hard to feed, clothe and house those less fortunate than ourselves. We donate time, money and expertise to support great organizations like our local food bank, the Boys and Girls Club, and a host of other non-profits committed to helping people here in Ukiah.
We serve on committees, non-profit boards and service clubs. We bake goods for fundraisers. We give countless hours in our schools. We serve as volunteer firefighters. We spend weekends cleaning creeks and streams and building trails. We work with youth, and we find so many other ways to make our home a better place.
With Memorial Day this weekend, I am reminded that certain types of service benefit more than our community alone; they benefit our whole country. I can’t think of a more heroic act than to give of yourself and serve your fellow man, and our veterans are some of the heroes who have given the most.
Memorial Day is a good time to pause for a moment and remember the great men and women who have served our nation and given us so very much, people who volunteered to serve in the armed forces because of their strong desire to protect others.
Today, more than a million people—including some of our community’s very best men and women—keep us safe by serving in our armed forces. And millions more have served our country in the past with distinction and honor. These brave men and women put their lives on the line, sometimes having to give their lives, so that we may freely enjoy ours.
This Memorial Day, our local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1900 will lead a parade through Ukiah to honor those who paid the ultimate price while serving our country. Along with this fantastic parade, the street will be lined with American flags to honor those who gave their lives in the service of our country.
The parade is scheduled to start downtown at 10:45 am, travel on School Street to the courthouse, then onto State Street before turning west on Low Gap Road and ending at the Russian River Cemetery.
Along with those we have lost, it is vitally important that we support the veterans who are now arriving home suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include recurring memories or nightmares of the traumatizing event(s), sleeplessness, loss of interest, anger, and irritability. Sometimes these symptoms don’t surface for months or even years after returning home.
The Veterans Crisis Line is an excellent resource for vets who are struggling. This confidential, toll-free service connects veterans in crisis with responders. Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 or send a text message to 838255 to receive critical support 24 hours-a-day, every day of the year. The Veterans Crisis Line can be accessed on the web at http://veteranscrisisline.net.
In Ukiah, I am proud that we line our streets with American flags and have parades to recognize and honor those who have served us so well – it is truly one of the best things about our community.
This Memorial Day, please take time to remember those who have served. Honor those cherished veterans who have selflessly served us.
As always, our mission at UPD is simple: to make Ukiah as safe as possible. If you have suggestions on how we can improve please feel free to call me. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cell phone and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website: www.ukiahpolice.com.
By: Chris Dewey - Chief of Police