Remembering Cpl. Michael D. Anderson Jr., USMC

Beginning with Monday’s observance of Veteran’s Day, Move America Forward continues to celebrate our military Veterans all week long. We are bringing to you the personal stories of military families and Veterans with whom MAF has had the privilege of working with and welcoming into our own family over the years.

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“This Veteran’s Day we celebrated not only the courage and insight of the patriots of the past, but also the continued dedication of the many Americans who serve our country even this moment.Not to confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day, but for some families, every day is Memorial Day. However, there is a clear distinction between the two: We must continue our longstanding tradition of remembering those who protect us, both past and present.It is sobering to think about the continuing price of our heritage and freedoms. Remembering is an important element of our nation’s tradition; Freedom is the veterans’ gift to us.

Please ‘Never Forget’ to thank a veteran. Move America Forward carries on, and accomplishes this mission 365 days a year”

Mike Anderson
Gold-Star Dad
Move America Forward Supporter

Today we celebrate the Anderson Family. Mike Anderson’s son Mike Jr. gave his life in Iraq and ever since, Mike Sr. has been a close member of the MAF family. He has participated in many of MAF’s events, especially those local to Northern California, since MAF’s headquarters is based in Sacramento, Calif.

For St. Stanislaus Catholic School, however, Friday’s tribute held very special meaning, with rededication of the campus flagpole, a new flag presented by a contingent of Marines and a flyover.Eighth-grader Allie Anderson’s brother was the first soldier from Stanislaus County to die in the Iraq War, in 2004. She was only a youngster at St. Stanislaus, she said, watching back then as the school’s flagpole was dedicated to his memory. Nine years later, the bronze plaque was too worn to be read. Allie and dad Michael Anderson decided to get a new one.The idea grew from there, said Principal Russ Antracoli between organizing veterans groups, Marines in dress blues and school priest Sam West for the event, timing everything for an 8:27 a.m. flyover.

The T-34 buzzed in wide, white-trailing circles overhead on cue, piloted by former Marine aviator Vince Nastro, Allie said. She added that Nastro’s son flies combat jets for the Navy with a picture of Cpl. Michael Anderson Jr. in his cockpit. “It keeps Mike in the fight,” Allie said.

Allie helped unveil a new, stainless-steel plaque to her brother on the school flagpole. To commemorate the day, Marines raised a new flag, one that flew over the Pentagon on Sept. 11 of this year. Rep. Jeff Denham, (R-Turlock), arranged for the flag, which will be kept in a glass case. Marines and veterans on hand for the ceremony, seeing the weathered and worn condition of the school’s everyday outdoor flag, pledged to replace it, Antracoli said.

In a moving moment, a Marine bugler played taps for Cpl. Anderson and all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Gathered veterans stood to tell of their years of service and which wars they fought.

“There are people like our veterans and the Marines here, making what we do, our lives, free. They’re the ones who make it safe for us,” Antracoli told the assembled students. He urged them to take a moment Monday to say a prayer or go to a parade.


Sponsor a Thanksgiving care package today filled with Thanksgiving goodies like pumpkin spice coffee, candy corn, holiday Oreos, hot chocolate, and much, much more!

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