American Legion

By Mario Conde
November 16, 2009
Calexico California ― As proud Korean War Veteran and long time member of the American Legion Post #90, Joe Vindiola continues to work in favor of the community and for the well being of fellow soldiers that have served our country.
Vindiola was born and raised in Calexico and has lived all of his life in the City. His Parents were originally from Arizona but moved to Nogales, Sonora Mexico during the great depression. After the end of the great depression they moved back to the United States to settle in Calexico in 1912; four years after the City of Calexico was officially incorporated as a City thus becoming pioneers of the border town.
Vindiola was born in Calexico in 1935 and was raised here all his life. He was part of the first class that graduated from the current Calexico High School in 1955 after moving from what is known today as the San Diego State Calexico Campus. He also served as the first ever Student Body President of Calexico High School.
Two weeks after graduating from High School, he joined the Air Force where he served ten years and was discharged in 1965. He came back to create a family and had three children. He then decided to continue with this service to the country by joining the California National Guard where he served sixteen years and worked at the Post Office. During that time, he was sent to Korea for thirty days in order to complete a military training program.
“When the war ended, North Korea was still communist and every year since then every branch of the military conducted war games in case war broke down again.” Vindiola remembered adding that South Korea depended on the military power of the U.S. in case North Korea tried to invade them. Asked if he agreed that decades after the end of the Korean War U.S. Troops are still in Korean he said that the same thing might happened to Iraq were the troops are going to stay there for years.
Vindiola has been part of the American Legion Post of Calexico for the last twenty years where he currently is the commander of the group. His duties as member of the Legion are to support youth programs and other altruist services. But the most important duty of the Legion is to teach kids about Americanism and the Value of Freedom of Speech, freedom of religion, and the freedoms that people have fought for and die to protect them.
‘The most satisfying thing about the American Legion is to continue to see the friends that I grew up with and serve in the armed forces and take care of them.” However, Vindiola, said the membership of the American Legion Post is getting older and most of them don’t have the drive to attend the meetings.
“We don’t have new blood on the American Legion.”Vindiola said. “We don’t have young people that have served on the military joining the Legion.”
Vindiola said that a couple of years ago there was an open house inviting veterans to come and share their stories. There was a very low turnout for that event.
“The military is not for everybody, it’s a hard institution to be in and many kids today give up after they join. But it can also be a great experience to be there because it helps you for higher education, travel, and can benefit your family” He said.
Nonetheless, Vindiola hopes and prays to see the local American Legion continue to grow and expand with a new generation of members. This past Veterans Day, Vindiola was given a well deserved recognition for his service to the American Legion for the last twenty years. He said to be honored to receive the award but gave all the credit to his fellow members who deserve the credit.
“For the youth I tell them to love and take care of the troops. For teachers, I asked them to tell your children about the values of this country. On Flag Day, respect the flag because it has covered the coffins of those who have died for the county. Be proud to be an American.”
The American Legion meets the last Friday of every month at the ElKS Lodge in Calexico.

Calexico Police Briefs

Friday, November 6

KIDS WILL BE KIDS: It was reported that the caller has heard what he thinks are children screaming around the neighborhood, the caller didn’t see the kids nor did he know if they were just playing around, the area was checked, the children were not found in the area, the caller was advised to call back should they return.

In Other Words

Playing the game well in Calexico; Another El Centro first?; Skateboards and Councils

WE HAVE TO HAND IT TO LOUIS FUENTES for his knowledge of how to get ahead in political circles and his use of

that knowledge when the opportunity came up.

As Calexico Mayor he attended several conferences where he was able to get close enough to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for him to remember his name.

Cattle Call Parade, Rodeo Highlight the weekend

By Steve Larson

There will be bands, floats, horses,queens, clowns and more in Brawley this weekend.

The Brawley Cattle Call and Rodeo heads into its Saturday and Sunday finale after a week of activity that started last Saturday.

This year’s parade will feature over 115 entries and is considered the largest production of its kind in Southeast California. Horse groups from the Valley, from law enforcement and from other parts of California will ride the parade route which begins at Western Avenue and Main Street, nwest of Hwy. 86 and continues through downtown to Palm Avenue.