Though the COVID-19 pandemic has dominated out massive, in-person occasions, the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation saved the Veterans Day spirit alive on Nov. 11 with “Evening on the Drive-In,” an occasion at which it honored all veterans and, notably, Santa Barbara World War II veterans Artwork Peterson and the late Ugo Arnoldi.
Every November, the Santa Barbara-based basis presents its in-person Army Ball to point out appreciation for veterans, however this 12 months, due to the coronavirus, it pivoted to a drive-in occasion on the West Wind Drive-In in Goleta that adhered to social-distancing pointers. The celebration included a boxed dinner with consolation meals: barbecue hen and beef, mac-and-cheese and a freshly baked cookie ready by DJ’s California Catering.
The Colour Guard was offered by UC Santa Barbara ROTC members Cadet Nelson, Cadet Bouvier, Cadet Wilcox, Cadet Chase and Cadet Hoover. Cadet Tally Darsonval of the UCSB ROTC led the Pledge of Allegiance.
“We’re proud to have this chance to return collectively and correctly honor our veterans,” mentioned Air Force Col. Anthony Mastalir, the keynote speaker and commander of the 30th Space Wing at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
“It is a day of recognition and gratitude for the service of 20 million veterans residing in the US at present, together with 1.4 million in California. Our freedom should be protected.”
Mastalir additionally shared particulars on work being accomplished by 3,000 service members at VAFB, in addition to information on an upcoming launch on the base.
Retired Navy Lt. John Blankenship closed this system earlier than the presentation of the World Conflict II film Memphis Belle, starring Matthew Modine and Santa Barbara’s personal Eric Stoltz, on the massive out of doors display.
“We’re proud to have the ability to nonetheless have a Veterans Day occasion for Santa Barbara,” mentioned Blankenship, co-founder and board president of the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Basis.
The West Wind Drive-In in Goleta serves as the location of the Veterans Day occasion. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photograph)
“We’re excited to point out help for our native veterans, and it’s with our highest honor to point out appreciation for Artwork and Ugo throughout this occasion.”
Peterson was a paratrooper within the Military’s 101st Airborne Division throughout World Conflict II. On D-Day in 1944, he participated within the largest seaborne invasion in historical past and later fought in among the largest battles within the European struggle. He was simply 17 years previous and simply ending highschool when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor plunged the US into World Conflict II.
Peterson was despatched to primary coaching at Camp Roberts, north of Paso Robles, the place he volunteered as a paratrooper, after which was transferred to Fort Campbell in Kentucky. His unit, Fox Firm, arrived in England in late 1943 for remaining coaching earlier than the invasion.
Although he got here by way of D-Day with no scratch, he wasn’t so fortunate three months later because the a hundred and first Airborne pushed into German-occupied Holland. He was making ready to leap out of a airplane along with his unit when a bullet got here by way of the ground of the airplane and hit him within the leg, severely wounding him. His sergeant ordered him to not bounce, and to return to England as a substitute.
Jeanette Arnoldi accepted the award for her late father, Ugo, who additionally served on D-Day and fought within the famed Battle of the Bulge. He was a machine gunner and a driver as the US was breaking out of Normandy.
Arnoldi was drafted into the Military in June 1943 at age 18 and went by way of primary coaching on the Cavalry School at Fort Riley in Kansas. In 1944, he was despatched to England to organize for the D-Day invasion, the place he was stationed on the Salisbury plains.
When the third Military broke out of Normandy in early August, its motion throughout France proceeded in a short time. Resistance stiffened because it started to strategy the German border. By early September, the third Military was close to Metz, Germany, and simply south of Luxembourg.
A number of months later, Arnoldi returned to the US and left the Military on Jan. 10, 1946. He turned the bookkeeper-accountant for his dad and mom, who owned Arnoldi’s Café and a masonry firm in Santa Barbara.
Sponsors of the drive-in occasion included Noozhawk, Home Improvement Center, KEYT-3 TV, Direct Mortgage Funding Santa Barbara, Union Bank, Montecito Motor Classic, the Bernstein Household Fund, Meg and Dan Burnham, Jon Parra, Alan Porter, Pat Rumpza, the Rudi Schulte Household Basis, Sharol and Wayne Siemens, and others.
The Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Basis is dedicated to honoring the women and men who’ve served in uniform. It helps veterans and active-duty members in addition to associated associate organizations in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and it preserves army historical past and legacy. It really works to uphold Pierre Claeyssens’ imaginative and prescient that those that have served are “by no means forgotten.”
— Noozhawk contributing author Rochelle Rose might be reached at [email protected]. Comply with Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Grow to be a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.