City recognizes veteran’s service
Eugene Ross, who spent more than 23 years in military service and is an active advocate for veterans, was recently presented a Certificate of Recognition by the city of South Lake Tahoe. Ross was thanked for his dedicated service as commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2627 from 1998 to 2002 and commander of American Legion Post 795 from 2004 to the present.
Ross, who was born in Merced and raised in Chowchilla, joined the United States Air Force in February 1957. He was stationed at Havre, Mont., Air Force Aircraft Control & Warning Station, for 12 years, where he worked on ground search radar equipment used to detect aircraft coming from Russia during the Cold War. It was during this time that he met and married his wife, Gayle.
Next, he was stationed at Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada, where he worked in Aircraft Control & Warning for two years during the Cold War. Then, he cross-trained into Aircraft Avionics Instrumentation and was transferred to the Republic of Karat, Thailand, during the Vietnam War. Upon returning to the United States he was stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where he worked on Test Aircraft and the Space Shuttle Program for NASA. He remained at Edwards AFB until he retired from the U.S. Air Force in January 1980.
During his years of military service Ross received the Army Good Conduct Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnamese Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. He also received several ribbons and awards.
Ross and his family have lived at South Lake Tahoe for 15 years. He was the Veteran of Foreign Wars commander at South Lake Tahoe from 1998 through 2002 and achieved All-State Commander status for Post 2627 from 1999 to 2002. He was VFW Deputy Chief of Staff for District 17, Sacramento, Calif., and was on the VFW State National Home Committee for Children of the State of California. He also was VFW National Aide-De-Camp for the National Commander. Ross served four years from 1998 to 2002 as District 5 Alternate Commissioner of Veterans Affairs with the El Dorado County Veterans Affairs Commission in Placerville, Calif. He was instrumental in the 1999 construction of the All-Veterans Monument at the South Lake Tahoe Branch Library as well as acquiring the AM Vet van to take veterans to the V.A. Hospital for appointments. He is the current commander of American Legion Post 795 at South Lake Tahoe.
“After retiring you have to have something to do. I enjoy this type of community involvement. I never expected to be honored for my work. I’m very, very proud to be a veteran and I enjoy doing things that involve veterans – like helping veterans and their families,” Ross said.
He said that American Legion and VFW are both hardworking organizations for veterans and one of his goals is to get a new veterans’ building at South Lake Tahoe.
“Veterans need a place to go to talk about their life and their military experiences. They need a ‘home’ where they can talk with people who have similar experiences. They want and need to be involved in community functions, which is one of the primary purposes of the organizations,” Ross said.