Nine years ago our son, PFC Joseph J. Duenas, died in Tikrit. “Joey” was with the 101st Airborne, fighting against insurgents. We have followed the news about the battle to retake Tikrit from ISIS. If I could travel to Tikrit, I would want to thank each and every one of those fighting.
If Joey could talk to me, he would say, “Dad, go and take care of the small children who need our help.” Joey loved children, and would distribute candy and other supplies we would ship to him in Iraq.
Unfortunately, we are now fighting an organization here in our own hometown. The Ceres Parks and Recreation Department!
The city police donated a marker at Smyrna Park. Knowing Joey, we felt glad he would be deployed to guard over the park. Last year we discovered it had settled uneven, and was half buried under the tree. We asked if I could level the marker. The city said they would fix it. We returned, and marker was not fixed. My wife went to ask them to help a grieving mother. Again, promises were made, but Memorial day, Fourth of July, Veterans Day all passed and nothing was done.
John Garrett, Ceres