By Alicia Doyle

The Writer
Specializing in Good News
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CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR Jim Daniels, a World War II veteran who retired from the Navy as a Seabee master chief, speaks at a reception before the official proclamation declaring Oxnard a Purple Heart City on Tuesday at the Oxnard Public Library. The event coincided with the library?s launch of its War Comes Home program. 

Oxnard library kicks off ‘War Comes Home' program

September 10, 2014 Ventura County Star

OXNARD, Calif. - All gave some; some gave all.

The motto of the Military Order of the Purple Heart brought some in the audience to tears Tuesday when spoken by Michael Cook, commander of Chapter 750, at a reception commemorating Oxnard as a Purple Heart City. The event was held in conjunction with a new program of the Oxnard Public Library called War Comes Home.

"The Military Order of the Purple Heart is unique ... in that our membership is comprised solely and entirely of combat veterans who were wounded or killed on the battlefield," Cook said of the charitable group that serves veterans and their families.

"Purple Heart recipients and veterans put themselves in harm's way to safeguard our homeland and our freedoms," said the commander, who received a Purple Heart after tripping a land mine in 1970.

He then told those in the crowd their federal taxes fund the Department of Defense.

"Imagine a spear with a long shaft and a pointed tip; all taxpaying citizens have their hand on the shaft of the spear. Our combat forces and Purple Heart recipients are the tip of that spear," Cook said. "Ladies and gentlemen, we are all in this together. We are part of the interlocking matrix of American society. Combat veterans and Purple Heart recipients do not do this on our own."

The reception at the library included members of the order and Vietnam Veterans of Ventura County, as well as city and state officials.

"I enjoyed my 26 years and three months with the service. I wouldn't trade it for anything," retired Navy Seabee Master Chief Jim Daniels said after leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

Daniels, 88, of Port Hueneme, served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, where he received a Purple Heart.

Amanda Broggie, field representative for Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, presented the library with a certificate of recognition for launching War Comes Home. The program, made possible through a $7,500 grant from Cal Humanities and the California Center for the Book, will implement programs with a focus on what life is like for veterans.

"I want to thank the Oxnard Public Library ... for making veterans a priority," Broggie said.

Simon Camarillo, a Marine Corps sergeant who received a Purple Heart for wounds inflicted in 1965 at a roadblock, told the audience he's proud to be an American.

"We all have a cross to carry. We have been carrying them for many years," said Camarillo, of Oxnard. "By golly, some of us made it. But I had a lot of friends who didn't."

After the reception, attendees convened in the City Council chambers for the official proclamation declaring the Oxnard a Purple Heart City.

Mayor Tim Flynn said words could not express his gratitude to the veterans.

"This is a great moment for the city of Oxnard," he said.

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