Rousing welcome home for 3 Pleasanton Marines back from Iraq

Crowds fill Val Vista court, cheer on Main Street as soldiers return Sunday

Several hundred well-wishers cheered and waved banners and flags yesterday as three Pleasanton Marines came home from Iraq.

The Marines were escorted into Pleasanton by a motorcycle honor team provided by the Warriors' Watch Riders (WWR), the official honor escort for all military welcome home events sponsored by the Pleasanton Military Families organization. The Riders group is led by Fred (aka Spike) Schau, state coordinator of WWR's Northern California chapter.

With a fire truck and Pleasanton police motorcyclists in the lead, the three Marines waved back to the crowds from a Mustang convertible, with WWR bikers in front and behind them, as they drove on Bernal Avenue from I-680 to Main Street, and then west on St. Mary, Division, Hopyard and West Las Positas to the home on Heath Court of returning Marine Lance Cpl. Ronnie Silva, son of Denise and Bob Silva, who were waiting to greet him.

With Silva were fellow Marines: Cpl. John Minerva, son of Kathy and Don Minerva, and Cpl. Jon Zinke-Zagarella, whose grandmother Eulailah was also at the Silva home to greet him.

As the Marines arrived in Heath Court where an estimated 150 were waiting, special bagpipe music was provided by Donna Willy, whose own son Spc. Kester Willy, returned home Saturday.

Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) and his wife Mary, whose home is only a few blocks away, also were at Heath Court for the welcome home ceremonies, along with City Councilman Jerry Thorne. Representatives of various military organizations also joined in the celebration.

Although military homecomings are common in Pleasanton, this was the first time three soldiers have returned from Iraq at one time for a joint celebration.


Like this comment
Posted by Tennesse Jed
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Aug 31, 2009 at 1:25 pm

America's Finest!

Like this comment
Posted by Linda
a resident of Val Vista
on Aug 31, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Who was the good looking guy driving the Mustang?

Like this comment
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Aug 31, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Welcome home, Marines...

Thanks for what you do for our country...

Like this comment
Posted by Sherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2009 at 8:26 am

Welcome Home to our bravest and best young men. Thank you for serving our country and keeping us safe.

Great story Jeb. Great pictures!

Like this comment
Posted by Dorene
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 1, 2009 at 9:41 am

Seeing these 3 brave Marines arriving home to Pleasanton put tears in my eyes and much pride in my heart. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to all three of you fine soldiers. We appreciate all that you have done for your Country and fellow Americans. We are eternally grareful.
God Bless Each One Of You,
Dorene Paradiso-Carroll and Family

Like this comment
Posted by Michael
a resident of Danville
on Sep 1, 2009 at 3:41 pm

God Bless the Marine Corps!
Thank you for your service!

Like this comment
Posted by bob123
a resident of another community
on Sep 2, 2009 at 8:44 am

God bless you--welcome home--Thank you for your service!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2009 at 9:51 am

Remembering those soldiers who are still serving very far away from home and loved ones. You are not forgotten and we appreciate you.

Like this comment
Posted by Thank You Military!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 2, 2009 at 3:32 pm

America is the land of the free BECAUSE of the brave! You guys are the best!
Thank for your service!

Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm

I am very sorry that i was unaware of this and so was not able to be there in person to shake your hand and say thank you. your welcome was a far cry from the one i experienced during the Vietnam War. I wasn't even allowed to wear my uniform off the base.

Like this comment
Posted by Teri
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Sep 3, 2009 at 10:27 am

Welcome back John Michael. You've made your parents very proud.

Like this comment
Posted by Sherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2009 at 9:00 am


THANK YOU for your service to our country.

If you would like to be notified to welcome home our local heroes, you may send an email to:

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Couples: Wanting, Yet Missing One Another
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 869 views

Superintendent's new contract may portend difficult employee negotiations
By Tim Hunt | 7 comments | 645 views

Scott Raty bows out as CEO of Pleasanton Chamber
By Jeb Bing | 0 comments | 377 views


Nominations due by Sept. 17

Pleasanton Weekly and are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

Nomination form