News


Rousing welcome-home celebrations for Army Sergeants Michelle Sanchez, Aaron Jagger

Both, back from Iraq, among growing number of Pleasanton troops coming home

Scores of well-wishers waved banners, flags and cheered Tuesday to welcome home Army Sgt. Michelle Sanchez and, four days earlier, to greet Army Sgt. Aaron Jagger as both came home from Iraq.

The homecomings were among a growing number of community welcome-home celebrations for Pleasanton military men and women who are returning from the Gulf war effort.

Both also were escorted from the airports where they landed by the Warriors Watch Riders, 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.

The Warriors escorted Jagger back home, with his parents Kim and Brian Jagger and other friends and family members greeting him at the Oakland Airport when he arrived. The group then drove through Pleasanton to the Jaggers' Hillsdale Court home, where crowds lined streets to cheer Jagger as he approached.

In a ceremony outside the Jaggers' home, Doug Miller, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6298 in Pleasanton who is now in charge of these welcome home events, praised Jagger for his service in Iraq.

"We appreciate your service and what you've done over in Iraq in supporting 'Operation Iraqi Freedom,'" Miller said. "We're all here because we appreciate the hard work and sacrifice you've made for this community."

A representative of Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) presented Jagger with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition and a letter of appreciation for his service. Mayor Jennifer Hosterman and Councilman Jerry Thorne also thanked Jagger on behalf of the city.

"I've always felt that men and women who give their time, service and skills for the service of our country are among the most valued citizens," Thorne said. "It's my honor to wish you the very best of everything this country has to offer you."

Also thanking Jagger for his service was Command Sergeant Major Connie Faye Commenia-Hill of the Combat Support Training Center at Camp Parks in Dublin, a member of the Pleasanton VFW post and also, with 36 years of service, the senior enlisted soldier at Camp Parks.

Noting that Jagger's job in the Army was vehicle maintenance, she said: "I especially want to thank you for giving up some of your time to go and defend our country. I know what it's like because I was in Kuwait and Iraq in 2005 and 2006. I also know that the maintenance vehicle person was a great guy to consult because the first time I went out on a mission my vehicle broke down and I needed help."

Others at the ceremony included representatives of the American Legion, Pleasanton Military Families, Operation S.A.M. and Blue Star Moms.

Jagger, who graduated from Foothill High School in 2006, has three months left to serve on active duty. He will then be in the active Army Reserves for four years before being discharged.

Sanchez returned on a direct flight from Germany to San Francisco International Airport, where her parents met her and rode in a Warriors-escorted convoy to their home at 3524 Milleford Ct. in the Laguna Oaks community off Foothill Road.

In a ceremony outside the Sanchez' home, Doug Miller again led ceremonies that included representatives of the VFW, American Legion, Pleasanton Military Families and others.

Councilman Thorne was at the Sanchez homecoming, too, thanking her for her service on behalf of the people of Pleasanton.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by factchecker
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:52 am

Check the spelling--I believe Aaron's last name is Jagger not Dagger!


Like this comment
Posted by mary
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:15 am

Yes, it is Jagger! And welcome home Aaron! Thank you for your service to our country. I'm thankful you have returned safely.


Like this comment
Posted by Sherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 8, 2009 at 8:17 am

Thank you for your service to our Nation Aaron. We are grateful and so glad to welcome you home. Enjoy some well deserved time off with your family and friends.

Big Al and Snapshot.


Like this comment
Posted by Doug Miller
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 9, 2009 at 8:24 am

I was incorrectly identified as "being in charge of these welcome home events". Not true. I am privileged to be one of many who participate. Recognition should go to Pleasanton Military Families Support Group.


Like this comment
Posted by Doug Miller
a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 9, 2009 at 8:29 am

I was incorrectly identified as "being in charge of these welcome home events". Not true. I am privileged to be one of many who participate. Recognition should go to Pleasanton Military Families Support Group.


Like this comment
Posted by SSgt Douglas Quayle
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Sep 9, 2009 at 8:49 am

Being a military member from P-Town, and having family still living there, I can say that Pleasanton is a VERY supportive town for men and women in boots. I felt very appreciated when I returned home from the Sandbox back in 2005. Even people that disagree with the politics that sent us over to that part of the world seemed to be proud to support their Troops when they returned home. My younger brother is currently serving as well, and had made many trips to that AOR. It is refreshing to know that your hometown will welcome you home with open arms after a long, arduous ordeal such as that. I am happy to serve citizens such as yourself...people that remember to take care of those who stand watch for them. YOU make ME proud.


Like this comment
Posted by Jerry Pentin
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 9, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Welcome Home Sgt's Jagger and Sanchez and thank you for your service. I'm sure you know that Freedom isn't Free and it's efforts like yours that makes what we have here so wonderful.

Thanks,
JP


Like this comment
Posted by Sherry
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 11, 2009 at 8:53 am

Thank you Sgt Sanchez for your service to our country. Welcome home!!!


Like this comment
Posted by LtCol Finnefrock
a resident of Valley Trails
on Sep 16, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Welcome back Sergeant Michelle Sanchez. You might remember me and son Chad Agustin who lived across the street from your former residence on Yellowstone Court. Chad followed behind you, Foothill Class of 2007, and is currently finishing his SOCOM training at Ft. Bragg as a combat medic, Army Ranger. Good to know Pleasanton gave you a heroes welcome home celebration.


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