Thursday, May 26, 2005

Vacaville event honors city's military heritage

Event honors city's military heritage

By Tom Hall/Staff Writer

Getting representatives from the different branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, sometimes friendly rivals, together in close proximity can be a risky proposition.

Various veterans groups and armed services advocates, however, came together at the newly-christened Town Square in downtown Vacaville on Wednesday to celebrate the city's military heritage.

The warm evening wasn't without incident, however. One Navy midshipman tossed a wooden airplane, making it soar about 10 yards and wooing a couple of watching toddlers.
He then promptly turned to a nearby table of Air Force recruiters and said, without missing a beat, "That's how the Navy flies."

Quips aside, Mike Reagan, a county supervisor and a retired Air Force officer, said Solano County's history is tied to its relationship with the American military.
"There's not a community in this county whose identity didn't begin with the military," Reagan said. "It defines who we are."

Reagan said Vacaville especially has seen that impact, citing the number of active-duty Travis Air Force Base personnel who call the city home, as well as an ever-growing population of Travis retirees.

Late last week, City Councilman Chuck Dimmick, also retired from the Air Force, spoke to the impact the military has had on Vacaville and the need to recognize that publicly.
"When I walk around places like Leisure Town and meet people, I'm floored when I find out how many of them are retired military," Dimmick said. "Vacaville's so unique because not only do we have the base and those people, but we have such a high veteran base."

Wednesday evening's Town Square event was the first in the just-finished plaza, excluding Tuesday morning's dedication ceremony. City spokesman Earl Parker said Town Square is perfect for events like Military Day.

Having left their leather pants and mohawks in the barracks, the band Mobility rocked through a couple of sets on Town Square's stage in blue jumpsuits and military-approved hairdos. The band is one of a handful of ensembles comprising the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West.
Tom Hall can be reached at

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