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16 veterans inducted into the La Quinta Acknowledgement Monument

Sixteen veterans were honored and inducted into the La Quinta Acknowledgment Monument. All the veterans from different branches of the military. 

The monuments have engravings on them of previous nominees like Craig Patton who had his name added five years ago.

“Since then I've introduced some other gentlemen that didn't know about this program and had their names inducted too. and it's just very special and I'm here because I lost a dear friend in Vietnam in 67 during the Ted offensive and I'm here to honor him and the rest of the guys that couldn't be here," Patton said.

And now the new veterans who were included today.

“It's a great honor. I almost feel not worthy of it but as my family reminds me, you know I did serve, I did sacrifice and you know I look forward to doing that for my country and I enjoyed it," said Matthew Johnson, a Vietnam veteran.

While some veterans were proud to be honored for their service, the event also recognized two gold star families who lost someone while serving. One of those families belonging to Marine Corporal Hunter Lopez, 22

He was among 13 U.S. service members killed in a terrorist attack during evacuations at an airport in Kabul, Afghanistan in August 2021.

“It's an emotional time. it's an emotional day for us but we wanted to make sure we were here with the community," said Herman Lopez, Hunter's father.

Marine Hunter Lopez along with Father Captain Herman Lopez

"Being here today, I think for me anyway we haven't had time to discuss it. There are other things we can do to help veterans, like I said there is always a need and again it's the right thing to do to help veterans for everything they've done," Herman said.

The city of La Quinta said it will continue its tradition to honor all those who served in the past, present, and future.

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Crystal Jimenez

Crystal Jimenez is a news reporter who joined the KESQ News Channel 3 team in June 2021. Learn more about Crystal here.

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