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Local veterans reflect on service to their country
Byron Carl Reinhold, who served in the 93rd Signal Battalion during World War II, celebrated his 99th birthday on Saturday with his family. - photo by Photo Contributed

Byron Carl Reinhold was living in Turlock with his wife Anita in 1942 when he decided to enlist in the Army "to serve our country."

He completed two years of mechanical training at Camp Kohler in California and at Camp Crowder in Missouri before he was shipped to England in 1944. That year, Reinhold also traveled to France where he and the 93rd Signal Battalion supported the forces deployed to Normandy.

In 1945, he was relocated to Germany where he served in the 3rd Army under the command of General George Patton before he returned to the United States. After the war was over, Reinhold remained overseas to repair communication lines before finally returning home to Turlock.

Throughout his service, Reinhold received four medals: a World War II Victory Medal, a Good Conduct Medal, an American Campaign Medal and a European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal.

Although the 99-year-old Denair resident can't remember all the details of his time during World War II, his family is extremely proud of his service.

“I’m very proud that he served our country and that he’s a very loving, warm, kind, gentle man,” said his daughter Kathy McCoy. “We love him.”

Stanislaus State sophomore Joaquin Rincon, said that he decided to join the Air Force in 2008 after he graduated high school in order to fund his college expenses.

He spent four years based in Florida and four months in Afghanistan.

“I was a Crew Chief for C-130s, so wherever the plane went, I went,” said Rincon. “I did general maintenance and diagnosed what was wrong with it.”

Rincon said that during his time in Afghanistan, he would perform repairs on damaged planes and set them up for the next flight, which included rearranging cargo and loading cargo. Among other things, Rincon said that he liked working with his crew and fostering relationships with the locals.

“You see that each mission definitely helps with the locals,” said Rincon. “Sometimes we would be transporting materials and supplies and we would see the aftermath of that. We would see how we were helping the communities out there.”

Rincon said that the most memorable experience he has from his time spent in Afghanistan was on his 21st birthday when he helped evacuate locals out of a hospital.

“It involved children and just seeing them coming out of the cargo and just relieved to be out of that situation really struck me,” said Rincon.

Upon his return in 2012, Rincon became the first in his family to attend college when he enrolled at Stanislaus State. He is currently majoring in biology with a concentration in marine biology. Also at the university, Rincon is the event coordinator with the Veterans Club, which recently hosted its 7th Annual Thank-A-Veteran event to honor those who served.

“It’s a great thing to remember all the sacrifices a lot of people have made for this country—some a lot more than others,” said Rincon about Veterans Day. “I do feel appreciated every time Veterans Day comes around.”