The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce honored local veterans as its eighth annual Patriots Luncheon at the Oaks Club in Valencia on Thursday.
“We have continued this legacy in order to make sure that the chamber can recognize its citizen soldiers who’ve come back as veterans and supported their community,” said Troy Hooper, SCV Chamber of Commerce chairman.
Seven veterans were chosen for their work in serving the community through charities, nonprofit efforts, veteran services and helping the homeless.
The luncheon not only recognizes the honorees but also all of the veterans in attendance, said John Musella, immediate past chairman and acting executive director of the SCV Chamber.
The honorees were Aracely Jimenez, Jose Montenegro, Dee Nance and Dennis Ray Witzel of the U.S. Army; George Lindstrom and Tchicaya Missamou of the U.S. Marine Corps; and Richard J. Ramsey of the U.S. Navy.
Nance, who also enlisted in the National Guard after serving in the Army for four years, carried her various prior honors with pride.
In a folder in her hands, Nance held certificates and honors from her work at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and the Red Cross.
“I’m always doing stuff for the community,” she said, smiling.
Although she experienced hardships with her male counterparts during her time in Vietnam, she did not let it affect her desire to help her community and serve her county, she said.
After she retired, she worked for the U.S. Postal Service and as a nurse at Henry Mayo. While a student at College of the Canyons, one of her professors called Nance “her oldest student,” she said.
These days, Nance works as the chief steward of the UE Union Local 1004 at Henry Mayo, as well as working with advocates who collect clothes for the homeless.
She was honored to have been recognized by one of the sponsors for the luncheon, Homes4Families, which has provided a home for her through their program.