Gustine FFA is home to over 360 FFA members. Our chapter is located in a small town in the Central Valley of California. Gustine FFA participates in multiple activities including community service events, competitions, leadership conferences and Career Development Events. One of the most sentimental events Gustine FFA participates in is placing crosses and flags on the graves of deceased military members at the Hills Ferry Cemetery.
This past May, six students from Gustine FFA were able to give back to our community by placing flags and crosses on the graves of fallen military members. We were able to work alongside many members of our community by paying our respects to men and women who served our country and who have sacrificed for the freedoms we all cherish today.
For many years, Gustine FFA has volunteered to place the crosses and flags on the graves of the fallen. This event is hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 7635 each year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gustine FFA, unfortunately, couldn’t help last year, but looked forward to continuing the tradition of helping place the crosses and flags in 2021.
This year Gustine FFA was among multiple groups that participated. The Gustine VFW, American Legion, and the Gustine American Legion Auxiliary all had members present during this community service event. It was important to the participating FFA members to truly understand the significance of what we were doing and who we were honoring. Mr. Will Martin from the VFW explained to our Gustine FFA members the differences between the color of the crosses. The white crosses are for all veterans, while the blue is for women who were in the auxiliary, and, lastly, the gold is for women who lost children in battle. Not only did we have the opportunity to honor our fallen heroes, but we also received an important history lesson that we will never forget.
Two of our very own Gustine FFA members were able to place a flag and cross on the grave of their great grandfather who served in the Korean War. Daniel Gomes stated, “It was nice to be able to come out to Hills Ferry Cemetery today, to pay our respect to hundreds of Americans who have served our country, including my great grandfather, Daniel F. Serpa.”
The National FFA Motto is “Learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve” and this is exactly what members from our chapter exemplified. These six members represented our chapter with respect, dignity, and pride.
Our chapter would like to thank all current and past military members who have served our nation. Your commitment to the United States of America is appreciated from the community of Gustine and Gustine FFA. Next year, we look forward to continuing to work with our community through activities and events like the one Gustine FFA participated in over Memorial Day weekend.