Santa Barbara native and Vietnam War veteran Brigadier Gen. Frederick R. Lopez, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve (retired), has been installed as the local Colonel George C. Woolsey Chapter Commander of the Military Order of the World Wars.
A member of MOWW for 24 years, he is also the most recent past MOWW National Commander of the Order (2021-2022).
Brigadier Gen. Lopez served as Commanding General, 4th Marine Division. He later retired from the Marine Corps Reserve after 31 years of service as an infantry officer.
As a civilian, he worked as an engineer with Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems in Goleta. He retired in 2007 from Raytheon as director of engineering after 29 years.
Currently he serves on the board of directors of the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation and is married to the former Anne Galletley of Atascadero. They have two daughters, Dr. Jennifer Marsh and Jamie Lopez, and a grandson, Ryan Marsh.
Also inducted at the recent Induction and Awards Ceremony were Senior Vice Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Dieter DuPont, U.S.A. (retired); Junior Vice Commander, Dennis Merenbach; Adjutant Major, Jose Ramirez, USMC (Ret); Judge Advocate, Lt. Stephen Penner, USN (Fmr.); Surgeon, Lieutenant Colonel Patricia Rumpza, USAF (retired); Historian, Capta.Larry Linn, U.S.A. (Fmr.); and Chaplain, Capt. Art Najera, USAF (Fmr).
Receiving awards at the same ceremony were Kurt Bergthold, Lt. Col. Patricia Rumpza and Ryan Marsh.
The MOWW Silver Patrick Henry medallion and miniature medal was presented to Mr. Bergthold for his significant contribution to the cause of patriotism and youth education.
A social studies teacher at La Colina Junior High School, he has organized and conducted seventh-grade assemblies for the past 17 years to hear military veterans tell their stories.
More than 8,600 students have attended these assemblies, which are held each year on the day before Veterans Day. The students have heard veterans describe their military service, as a way of helping the students understand firsthand the meaning of patriotism, sacrifice, honor, courage, commitment and service.
Lt. Col. Rumpza was awarded the MOWW Outstanding Service Medal for exceptional service to the chapter while in the capacity of surgeon.
And receiving the MOWW Youth Merit Medal was 16-year-old incoming Dos Pueblos High School junior Ryan Marsh. He was recognized for his service to the order while utilizing his computer and computer tools expertise to test and debug a very large Microsoft Excel database activity report tool for the MOWW National Chapter.
The Military Order of the World Wars is a veterans service organization with more than 6,000 members nationwide, founded in 1919 to promote good citizenship, patriotic education, and military and public service. Active duty, retired and former commissioned or warrant officers of the uniformed services of the United States are eligible for membership.
Each year, the local Colonel George C. Woolsey Chapter donates more than $5,000 to local youth and veteran’s organizations to support patriotic education and service. The chapter also honors local first responders with an award and recognition ceremony each year.
The local chapter meets at 11:45 a.m. the third Wednesday of the month at the Elks Lodge in Santa Barbara. The public is invited to attend. For more information, contact the chapter adjutant, Major Jose Ramirez, at 805- 965-5839.