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Smith: A 2nd Marine for Kylee O'Day

  • Chris Smith.

You'll recall that six months after a young Marine named Patrick O'Day became the first Sonoma County resident to die in Iraq, his widow, Shauna, gave birth to their daughter.

It's hard to believe Kylee Marie Patrick O'Day is 10. For Veterans' Day, her school in El Dorado County hosted a breakfast for students and the vets they're close to.

An uncle of Kylee hoped to go with her but he couldn't. A family friend, Justin Miller of Rohnert Park, heard about that, cleared his calendar and filled his tank.

Miller is 39 and a Rancho Cotate alum who served in the Corps from 1992 to '96. He was not going to let Patrick O'Day's daughter go to a Veterans Appreciation breakfast without a Marine.

Miller and Kylee, an eager kid who's on the honor roll and the student council and plays the flute, spoke during their meal about Patrick and whatever came to mind. Miller said it became clear to him that at least some of the teachers didn't know Kylee's story.

“I don't think she tells a lot of people,” he said. “I don't think she wants people feeling sorry for her.”

IT'S BEEN 25 YEARS since the U.S. government did right by the Japanese-Americans who'd been herded into camps during World War II.

At 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Sebastopol, distinguished speakers will recall the redress that brought an apology and reparations to surviving internees.

Phyllis Tajii of the local chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League notes that lunch will be served. But Tajii (phyllistajii@gmail.com) needs a nose count.

CHIPS WERE DOWN: As he gassed up at the Chevron station across 101 from the new Graton casino, Tony Geraldi locked eyes with a guy who looked distressed.

The fellow approached to say he'd lost his money and needed help getting home to San Francisco. He said he'd come up on a charter bus.

Geraldi is a good guy and the general operations manager for Airport Express.

He drove the man to the nearby DoubleTree Hotel and paid his fare for an Airport Express coach to SFO. He also gave the stranger 10 bucks for a BART ticket.

Was the guy scamming? Geraldi sensed he really was stuck. Regardless, encounters like the one at the Chevron might be something we should prepare for.

FOUR SCORE AND … Cannon fire and Civil War finery will mark the right place to be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Santa Rosa's Rural Cemetery.

The occasion is the 150th anniversary delivery of one of history's greatest speeches: President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

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