On this Memorial Day, I am compelled to pay tribute to members of my family who have given so much and sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms and to protect this great country of ours.
My father Paul Dinelli and my Uncle Pete Dinelli, for whom I was named after, both served in the US Army during World War II when the United States went to war with Italy, Germany and Japan.
My father and uncle were first generation born Americans and the sons of Italian immigrants who settled in Albuquerque in the year 1900.
My Uncle Pete Dinelli was killed in action and my father Paul Dinelli was a disabled American Veteran.
My uncles Fred Fresques and Alex Fresques, my mother’s two brothers, also saw extensive combat in World War II and saw action they refused to talk about to anyone after the war.
My father in law, George W. Case, who passed away just two years ago at age 93, served in the US Navy during World War II, saw action, and was so proud of his service that he wore a WW II Veterans cap every day the last few years of his life.
My nephew Dante Dinelli served 20 + years in the US Navy and retired as a Chief Petty Officer.
My two nephews, Matthew Barnes and Brandon Barnes are both currently Captains in the United States Marine Corps.
My nephew Captain Brandon Barnes is a graduate of the US Naval Academy.
My nephew Captain Matthew Barnes graduated from UNM with honors and served a tour in Afghanistan.
To all the wonderful and courageous men and women who have served and continue to serve our country to protect and secure the promise of freedom and the ideals upon which the United States was founded upon, and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, I thank you for your service to our Country.
Your service and sacrifices will never be forgotten.
God bless you all and God Bless this great country of ours!