Woman Veteran Award Honoree, Marge Waggoner
From the person who nominated her:
ONE NAVY VETERAN’S PLEDGE TO GET THEM HOME
Before closing, Hometown Buffett was home to generations of Hometown Heroes. Photographs of those who served and who were currently serving hung on the wall as patrons enter. Decades of men and women who served in all the branches that span years of history were displayed with honor and pride.
When Hometown Buffett closed in 2016, the photos were not returned to those who offered them to hang on the Wall of Honor. The photos were boxed up, shipped off to Stockton and tucked away in storage to gather dust and expectably to be forgotten and lost.
But 83-year-old Navy Veteran Marge Waggoner was not going to let that happen. Marge with the help of her daughter, Debbie Luce, went to Stockton to retrieve the local Hometown Heroes. The mission was completed. The boxes of generations of photographs were found and brought back to Marge’s home. Although they remained safe in Marge’s home for a bit, she always knew she wanted to return the photos to the rightful owners. Marge and her daughter Deb weren’t exactly sure how, but Marge knew they needed to go home.
The perfect opportunity raised itself recently at the Orangevale Grange’s Community Breakfast that was honoring our Men and Women of Service for Veteran’s Day. Marge and her daughter pulled the photos out of the boxes and displayed the photos proudly for everyone to see. It was Marge’s hope that someone would recognize any one of the photos and help get them back to the family.
Well, that’s exactly what happened. A Grange Member recognized the Rasmussen boys. And the journey began. The Grange Member posted the photos of the two Army brothers on a popular social media site with the hope that the family would reach out. Within hours their mom recognized her boys. After a few exchanges of comments with Gina Rasmussen Mitchell, she asked if the photos could be given to the boy’s grandfather Lupe. Yes- Lupe Maldonado of L & M Liquor and Deli.
So, on Friday, November 19th Marge and Deb met at L & M Deli to return the boys to their family. Marge and Deb shared the journey and how they ended up with the photos. And the very proud grandfather Lupe shared how the photos came to be on the Hometown Buffett wall.
Lupe and wife Mary were regular patrons of Hometown Buffett back in the day. Upon one of the visits, Mary (Lupe’s wife and the boys’ grandmother) asked if she could bring photos of her grandsons to join the others on the wall. It was shortly after that Trey and Logan were added.
Lupe also proudly shared that each of the boys is still serving in the Army. Staff Sergeant 1st Class Trey Rasmussen received Purple Heart Medal for his efforts in Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Logan Rasmussen is currently stationed in Kentucky.
Marge speaks very proudly of her time in the Navy. You will always see her sporting the American Flag and her Navy Emblem pin on her lapel and saluting the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance. She is hoping folks will see the photos and reflect on the service of others and maybe recognize someone and help get them home. Marge and her daughter Deb want you to share with everyone in Orangevale, Fair Oaks, Citrus Heights, and other surrounding areas that patrons of Hometown Buffett might have come from.
If you have information regarding the photos, please call Deb at 916.425.8561 or email email@example.com
Thank you Marge for your continued service and support to the Men and Women of our Military – now and then.
Marge continues to serve though the Folsom VFW, Orangevale Women Club, Orangevale Grange and is always there to help on community needs. At our meetings, she proudly stands and salutes the flag.