Surrounded by the flag and veterans he devoted his life to supporting, more than 50 friends, family and retired military attended the funeral of Bill Reynolds on Saturday.
Reynolds, 74, of Valencia, died last month following complications with heart surgery. For the last two decades, the Vietnam veteran who served in the Charlie Company of the 4th/47th, 9th Infantry Division, was an advocate for those who served, both here in Santa Clarita and around the country.
During the funeral, a flyover was conducted by The Condor Squadron out of Van Nuys, with four World War II-era military planes passing overhead.
In attendance were Reynolds’ family, friends and a number of elected officials, including former City Councilman Bob Kellar and Rep. Mike Garcia.
Garcia recalled meeting Reynolds for the first time and sitting down at a coffee shop to share stories from their service, which he referred to as one of the “best experiences of (his) life.”
“That’s what Bill did,” said Garcia. “He took a little bit of happiness and he magnified and he amplified. He made his brothers in arms feel better about themselves, about their history, about their service, about their country.”
“God breathed into Bill life, and Bill breathed into all of us patriotism, and pride in our flag, pride in our history and pride in our nation,” Garcia added.
During the ceremony, Bill’s son Mike spoke to how he took pride in his dad’s military service and volunteerism.
“Upon returning from Vietnam, he knew he had to live his life with purpose — and that purpose he said was living for the fallen,” Mike Reynolds added. “This purpose was ingrained in him and what drove him through life.”
Reynolds’ son described him as a people person who wanted to talk to anyone and everyone. A number of the veterans there wore different vests — with different military branch crests — and yet all were there as a testament to Reynolds’ impact on their lives and the lives of other veterans.
Dalton Tom, chair of the Southern Paiute Veterans Association and a Vietnam veteran who served with Reynolds, dressed in American Indian regalia, gave the “chanting of the taps” while kneeling next to the casket
The ceremony concluded with a salute by the Marine Corps league having a bugler play “taps,” and six riflemen firing three rounds each.