by Dave Richey

On March 19, 2018, a memorial service was held for Dr. Jennifer Gray Golick, Christine Loeber MSW LCSW, and Dr. Jennifer Gonsales Shushereba. These three brave women lost their lives on March 9 while trying to help one of their former clients at The Pathway Home.  The service was at the Lincoln Theater on the campus of the Yountville Veterans Home.

Guests began to arrive before 4:30 PM for the 6:00 PM service, anticipating a “full house” at the 1200-seat theater.  At about the same time, members of the Patriot Guard Riders, The American Legion Riders, other rider groups and veterans organizations (including this writer) stood in a Flag Line to greet those coming to pay their respects.  And the theater did indeed fill to capacity, with some standing to pay tribute to the three heroines.

John Dunbar, the Mayor of the Town of Yountville, was the Master of Ceremonies for the memorial.  He introduced each of the elements of the service, starting with the Presentation of Colors by the California Highway Patrol Color Guard, followed by Kellie Fuller singing the National Anthem.  Pastoral Care Chaplain, Ira Book, led the invocation.  Several dignitaries, including Representative Mike Thompson and CalVet Secretary, Vito Imbasciani, spoke of the work and impact of the three women on the lives of many inside and outside the veterans’ community.  Board President of The Pathway Home, Dorothy Salmon, gave a beautiful description of working with Christine and the two Jennifers.  Perhaps the most moving tribute was presented by Zach Skiles, a graduate of The Pathway Home program.  The Travis Air Force Base Band of the Golden West played America the Beautiful and Amazing Grace.  Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Veterans Health Administration, and Keith Armstrong, of San Francisco Veterans Affairs – Healthcare System, added remarks describing the invaluable work by these three brave women.  Closing words were offered by the Mr. Gonzales, the father of Jennifer Gonzales Shushereba.

A few volunteers from the Santa Rosa CBOC Coffee Cart – Angie Hand and Dave & Jackie Richey – joined some of the staff of the CBOC and the VA Medical Center San Francisco on a VA bus to Yountville.  Some of those staff members had worked with and/or knew Jennifer, Christine and Jennifer.  We felt like family by the time we completed the return trip…

Anyone who wishes to donate to the families of these Angels, can do so by visiting www.thepathwayhome.org.  Look for #3bravewomen.

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