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Smith: A 2nd Marine for Kylee O'Day

You'll recall that six months after a young Marine named Patrick O'Day became the first Sonoma County resident to die in Iraq, his widow, Shauna, gave birth to their daughter.

It's hard to believe Kylee Marie Patrick O'Day is 10. For Veterans' Day, her school in El Dorado County hosted a breakfast for students and the vets they're close to.

An uncle of Kylee hoped to go with her but he couldn't. A family friend, Justin Miller of Rohnert Park, heard about that, cleared his calendar and filled his tank.

Miller is 39 and a Rancho Cotate alum who served in the Corps from 1992 to '96. He was not going to let Patrick O'Day's daughter go to a Veterans Appreciation breakfast without a Marine.

Miller and Kylee, an eager kid who's on the honor roll and the student council and plays the flute, spoke during their meal about Patrick and whatever came to mind. Miller said it became clear to him that at least some of the teachers didn't know Kylee's story.

"I don't think she tells a lot of people," he said. "I don't think she wants people feeling sorry for her."

IT'S BEEN 25 YEARS since the U.S. government did right by the Japanese-Americans who'd been herded into camps during World War II.

At 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Sebastopol, distinguished speakers will recall the redress that brought an apology and reparations to surviving internees.

Phyllis Tajii of the local chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League notes that lunch will be served. But Tajii (phyllistajii@gmail.com) needs a nose count.


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