Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 1:47 am | Fair 53º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Signs to Mark Highway 101 as Purple Heart Trail

Santa Barbara, Ventura counties join forces to honor veterans who have been injured or killed in action

People traveling Highway 101 will soon have reminders of the sacrifice made by those injured or killed in combat, and signs designating the highway a Purple Heart Trail will be popping up in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties after a Veterans Day unveiling.

Officials and veterans gathered to remember and unveil the signage Monday at Rincon Beach Park in Carpinteria, where people walked to the beach and repaired surf boards just yards from where a group of Purple Heart veterans had gathered in their satin jackets with medals pinned to their chests.



A Purple Heart is an award given to those who have been wounded or killed during their service in the military.

The signs marking Highway 101 in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties will complete 240 continuous miles of the trail, which extends from Monterey through Ventura County.

Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson authored the resolution that was passed this year, allowing the signage to be put up in the counties.

She said it was essential that there be a visual reminder of the sacrifice of those such as U.S. Army Spc. Kenneth Alvarez, 23, of Santa Maria, who was killed in Haft Asiab, Afghanistan, in August.

Alvarez died after his unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device during a combat mission.

Jackson remembered Alvarez, and told the Purple Heart recipients in the audience "you are deeply appreciated."

There are more than 500 purple heart recipients in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, according to Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long.

Michael Cook, commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart-Chapter 750, speaks Monday during a ceremony to add Highway 101 in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties to the Purple Heart Trail. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

In July of last year, Long brought the item before the supervisors, and Jackson carried the bill in the state Senate.

Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal also spoke, and said he found out that the counties were trying to do similar things with the trail and joined efforts last year.

"It's so fitting that on Veterans Day we're celebrating this extraordinary effort on behalf of both counties," he said.

Jackson said that many items that come before the Legislature are met with political ambivalence.

But with this bill, "there is no ambivalence," she said, adding that the nearly unanimous vote sends a strong statement in support of the area's veterans.

The Point Mugu Sea Cadets of the Ventura County Naval Base were also on hand for the presentation of colors. 

Michael Cook, commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart-Chapter 750, also spoke.

At a time when fewer and fewer people know veterans who have served, it's key that the trail be used to remind those who have been untouched by that sacrifice, Assemblyman Das Williams said.

To those who would ask what a Purple Heart is, Williams said he hopes the sign will be used to prompt them to find out.

"This is something the people of our nation desperately need," he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >