20 jUNE 2021
Hello Sierra Families, I have some updates on the reunion;
Marcela Cervantes Sherman and father Carlos will continue to bring the menudo for Sunday morning of the reunion.
Kathleen (Casey) Hurd, will help with 50/50. We do need more volunteers because we would want to do this in shifts.
Rae Ann Butts, has been able to reserve Willow Springs for Wednesday August 4th from 3-8pm
Still looking for a hall for Bingo night which could be on a Thursday or Saturday night. One recommendation is American Legion in East Moline.
Need someone to check if Hampton Pee Wee golf is available for August 6th
Windmill Restaurant will accommodate us for Saturday breakfast
Pinatas who will be in charge
We are looking for a new treasurer and assistant
To continue, this wonderful and memorial to our ancestors, with this Sierra family reunion it is absolutely essential that new younger leadership come forward.
Any family member are welcome to the meeting
June 27th 2021 SIERRA FAMILY REUNION meeting
1:00pm at Ben Butterworth park East Moline,ll
Bring your lawn chairs and refreshments
SIERRA FAMILY REUNION 2021 May 29th 2021
Hello Family, what a crazy and sorrowful 2020-2021 year it has been.
The Sierra Family Reunion picnic will take place ;
Sunday August 08 2021 at Empire Park in East Moline, Il
A 1:00pm meeting will be Sunday June 27th 2021 at Ben Butterworth Park in East Moline, Il Bring your lawn chair and beverage.
We do have Empire Park reservations for Friday August 6th 2021 and Sunday August 8th 2021.
Wednesday August 4th 2021, no confirmation if Willow Spring will be letting swim parties. I heard they are only letting members in.
Thursday August 5th 2021, no Bandits home game. Bandits will have a home game on Sunday August 1st 2021. Do we attend that game?
Friday August 6th 2021, need to confirm activities
Saturday August 7th 2021, Breakfast? Cemetery walk? Bingo? Raffles? Food and Beverage? Heritage Center in Hampton at this time is not taking reservations
Sunday August 8th 2021, need to confirm activities
We need to be safe with food served. One suggestion was each family bring their own food and if they want to share food still keep it in your area.
Note: Jan Sierra will no longer be able to do 50/50 raffles, volunteers needed.
Merci Gomez is not able to be second treasurer, volunteers needed.
A Memorial mass will be held Monday morning 9:00am 05/1/21at St Mary’s mausoleum
In East Moline Il. Father Angel Sierra will be participating.
Billy goat bluff is looking Amazing today. Monday Memorial Day at 10:00am, Mr. Joe Terronez will be honored for his ideas & hard work on the Hero Street Project. Honoring the 8 heroes from 2nd street, now renamed Hero Street. Let us go and honor them all
Happy Easter everyone! And thank you to all who came out to Butterworth park to celebrate my Grandmother’s birthday. I wish I could have been there myself.
I wanted to put up a post on the website and make sure everything is back to normal. We had some technical issues starting in February and looks like they are mostly resolved. I have some work to do on the email system.
Below is a link to view and share your pictures of Grandma/Tia Lucha
If you have any issues just let me know – Eddie
Picture of Aunt Lucha with quilt that Vicky Sierra made her.
Tom and Vicky gave it to her for Christmas.
This saturday Dec 12 2020 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Silvis at 4:30 Mass a blessing will be giving to Thomas and Vicky Sierra in honour of their 50th Wedding Anniversary.
Robert Neal is married to Carol Sierra Neal,the son-n-Law of Fransico Sierra son of the late Amador and Jesses Sierra.
Quad-Cites Marine always ready to help
- Aug 23, 2020 Updated 21 hrs ago
U.S. Marine veteran Robert Neal Jr. of East Moline poses for a portrait next to the Hero Street Memorial in Silvis. As a kid, Hero Street was a great place for him and his friends to play. After his six years in the military, he appreciates the significance of the historic street even more. “I have spread the word of Hero Street quite a bit to other people who don’t know about the sacrifice of the Mexican-Americans from this community who died in combat,” said Neal.
- The U.S. Marines, his grandmother, and the streets of East Moline’s Watertown neighborhood have all shaped Robert Neal Jr. into the man he is today.
The loving husband and father of five (three of which also served in the military) was nominated for “Stories of Honor” by his wife, Carol. Her nomination praised Neal as a Marine, a father, and a dedicated community volunteer.
Neal’s childhood got off to a rocky start but everything changed during the summer before starting the 5th grade at McKinley Elementary School, in East Moline. He was taken in by his maternal grandmother because his home life had become unstable. He joined his three uncles, the last of his grandmother’s 11 kids still at home, in their two-bedroom house.
“She took me in and raised me and did the best she could by herself. My grandfather passed away when I was younger. And she worked for the Illinois Department of Public Aid in Rock Island,” said Neal.
Helen Cervantes only stood 5 feet 5 inches tall but the level of positive influence she had on Neal’s life is only rivaled by his experience in the U.S. Marines.
Looking at Robert Neal Jr. it’s no surprise that he’s a Marine. His short auburn hair, freckles, and muscular build defy his age. The lines around his eyes offer the only clue that he is 53 years old. The retired corrections officer always carries himself with the confidence and discipline first instilled in him by his grandmother and then amplified by the Marines. That calm confidence comes in handy as a student supervisor at United Township High School, a job he’s been doing for the last two-plus years.
He joined the Marines after graduating from United Township High School in 1985.
“I wasn’t really ready for college and I liked the discipline of the military. I played sports in high school. And I thought, if I’m going to try this I want to do the hardest thing. So I was in the Marine Corps infantry for six years,” said Neal. He also served with a special ops unit and “jumped out of planes.”
Neal speaks fondly of his days on 17th Street but it openly admits it was a tough neighborhood with its share of violence.
“17th Street in East Moline, where I’m from, a lot of those guys have gotten in trouble and done some time in prison. But, there are also a lot of guys who went on to work at John Deere, start businesses, or go into the trades.”
“But I didn’t see myself as a factory worker. I didn’t want to punch a clock. I hadn’t really traveled much as a kid. I wanted to see the world. So having not traveled or been to a lot of places I thought the military was an opportunity for me to do this.”
Joining the Marines opened up the world to Neal. Before enlisting the furthest he had ever traveled from home was to an amusement park in Cincinnati, Ohio. But, while standing at the World’s Fair in Brisbane, Australia, in 1988 the young Marine was fully conscious of how far the kid from Watertown had come.
“I thought wow, I’ve come a really long way. Or when I was at the Olympics in Korea 1988, I thought wow, this is awesome. Or, when I was in Sydney for their Bicentennial that year, you know all those things. And then you see the USS Arizona down in Hawaii. These are things that you’d read about and maybe I thought I’d never see because of my circumstances. The military provided me an opportunity to experience all those places.”
Neal says, “the mental stress of serving during a time of war” was the worst thing he experienced in the military. The best thing about his service is the lifelong bond he has with the people in his unit.
It’s that unbreakable bond that has driven him to raise money and awareness of the epidemic of suicide among his fellow veterans.
The day before sitting down to be interviewed for “Stories of Honor” Neal was in Texas to honor a member of his squad who had recently committed suicide.
For the 21 days before his trip, Neal had been participating in the Active Heroes’ 22 Push-up Challenge to help raise awareness and donations to help prevent veteran suicide. He completed his last set of 22 push-ups next to the grave of his squad-mate Michael Benavides.
Veteran support groups like Active Heroes are trying to stem the tide of suicide among veterans.
According to a 2019 article published in the Military Times, “In the last four years, the official government estimate on the number of veterans who die by suicide has gone from 22 a day to 17 a day in the latest Veterans Affairs report. But the rate of suicides among veterans didn’t decrease over that span. Instead, the way the figures are sorted and presented did.
Instead, outside experts note that by many markers the problem has grown even worse. The total number of suicides among veterans has increased four of the last five years on record. From 2007 to 2017, the rate of suicide among veterans jumped almost 50 percent.
Veterans are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than Americans who never served in the military. For female veterans, the risk factor is 2.2 times more likely.”
Neal doesn’t know for sure how he has avoided some of the mental health struggles that so many of his fellow veterans endure, but he thinks it might have something to do with his growing up in Watertown.
For more information on preventing veteran suicide:
SIERRA FAMILY REUNION MEETING JUNE 28, 2020 MINUTES
Please remember those who have from Covid 19
Vino Terronez – Van Hoe Funeral Home
Ricky Martinez – Keko Martinez son
from Cruz T. Sierra family. Wheelanpressly.com
There is a Go Fund me account
Please continue to pray for those fighting off Covid 19
Mark Reyes, Keko Martinez