The Ceres Post Office on Mitchell Road could be named in memory of a late Ceres Marine who was killed in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom back in 2006.
Congressman Jeff Denham introduced a bill Tuesday night, July 17 to name the Ceres Post Office on Mitchell Road after Lance Corporal Juana Navarro-Arellano, a Ceres Marine who was killed in action on April 8, 2006 in Anbar Province, Iraq. She was just 24. The bill is in the first stage of the legislative process and typically will be considered by committee before it is possibly sent onto the House or Senate as a whole for a vote.
Lance Corporal Juana Navarro-Arellano was born in the Mexico state of Michoacan and came to the California from Mexico with her family at a young age and became a U.S. citizen at the age of 13. In 2001 Juana moved to Ceres with her mother, Evelia Navarro, and four of five siblings from their cramped home in Empire. The family participated in a Habitat for Humanity project on Sequoia Street in which they invested sweat equity for a new home. Juana helped hang drywall and helped with other construction. Juana graduated from Johansen High School in Modesto and enlisted in the Marines in 2005, following the example of her two younger twin brothers. Her nephew has also joined the Marines as a result of Juana’s service.
She initially served in the Bulk Fuel Company of Camp Hansen, Japan. She had left boot camp, combat training, and bulk fuel school to enter the world of the Fleet Marine Force.
A member of the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Navarro was initially stationed in Okinawa, but her specialization – bulk fuel specialist – was needed in Iraq. In February 2006, she headed to the Middle East and kept the news from her family until the last minute.
While holding down a defensive position guarding other soldiers during their mission near Taqaddum, Juana died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Her body was sent back home and given a hero’s burial at Lakewood Memorial Park near Hughson. She left behind her parents, three sisters and two brothers.
“As an immigrant, Juana represents the brave spirit of those who risk everything to come to our country, and as a Marine, she stands as an inspiration for all who go above and beyond the call of duty,” Denham said in introducing the bill.
There are currently no amendments to HR 6405. The bill’s co-sponsors come from both parties with 13 Republicans and 38 Democrats supporting it. So far none of the bill’s cosponsors has withdrawn their support.
Information on the bill may be found at: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/6405/cosponsors?pageSort=lastToFirst&loclr=cga-member
The Ceres City Council has been meeting with Denham to see what can be done about the neglected landscaping on the post office grounds.