Our Local Hero Major John Reyna Tapia PhD was laid to rest Sept. 20, in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. We honored him at the VA Medical Center Chapel Sept. 8.
Local veteran's organizations as well as individuals were part of this great celebration: Captain Jack Unangst VA Chaplain, Hampton Funeral Home, American Legion Riders Post 6 "Funeral Procession," Dan Tillman and his American Legion Honor Guard Post 6, Ed Albert, Mel Vinson, Phil Chavis representing Granite Mountain Gourd Society "Blessing of Dr. Tapia" in the Native way, Cadet Jeremy Santillan Chief Master Sgt. Aerospace Science Leadership Academy JROTC Prescott High School (funeral detail, pallbearers, casket guards), Aisle Honor Guards Korean War Veterans Association "PFC H. Edward Reeves" Chapter 311, Frank Rodriguez, Luis and Mitsu Burns, James Burg, Woody, Military Order of the Purple Heart "Major John R. Tapia PhD" Chapter 608, Don Mansfield Bagpipes (Amazing Grace), Ralph Bruno Color Guard Marine Corps League 906, Jenny Palmer representing Prescott National Memorial Ladies, Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society: Lewis Bradley class of 2008, Nat Robbins class of 2011, Renee Ball class of 2010, Ildefonse Tercero class of 2005, John R. Tapia class of 2005, and Alfonso Santillan Jr. class of 2009, Warrior Medal of Valor Society, Hugh Branigan coordinator, Wally Presmyk, Toney Largo: Intertribal Prescott Pow Wow benediction, Donna Lindberg music (Ave Maria), VFW, DAV. VA
Thank you for the use of the beautiful Medical Center Theater for the reception: Brenda & Bill Autery, Nat & Gladys Robbins, Luis & Mitsu Burns, and Amy Calloway. Thank you all for making this a Hero send off for John. As John would say God Bless you.
Bertha C. Tapia
Alfonso Santillan Jr.