Get Adobe Flash player
The Few, The Proud, Our Marines!

Current Events

2015 Memorial Ride - Click here for information on the Cpl Anderson Memorial Ride!
Military Channel - Warrior POV - Our hero, the day he was KIA, December 14, 2004
May 10, 2014 - 10th Annual Cpl. Michael D. Anderson Jr. Memorial Ride. Begins at Modesto Harley Davidson at 8:30am. “Kick Stands Up” departure time of 10am
May 9, 2014 - 3rd Annual Cpl. Michael D. Anderson Jr. / True American Heroes Benefit Dinner at "King" Kenny Roberts Moto-Ranch. This years guests include, Kenny Roberts, Sr., Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts, Jr., Mert Lawill, Bo Derek, John Corbett and “Rafter Man” Kevin Major Howard.
May 8, 2014 - John Corbett Concert to benefit Welcome Home Heroes See John Corbett and the John Corbett band at the Fat Cat in Modesto on Thursday, May 8. 100% of the proceeds go to helping America’s Veterans and their families.
May 10, 2013 - 2nd Annual Cpl. Michael D. Anderson Jr. / True American Heroes Benefit Dinner at "King" Kenny Roberts Moto-Ranch. With Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts Junior, Kurtis Roberts and Mert Lawwill.
May 11, 2013 - 9th Annual Cpl. Michael D. Anderson, Jr. Memorial Ride, with featuring MotoGP Champion “King” Kenny Roberts; joined by Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kenny Roberts Junior, Kurtis Roberts, and Mert Lawwill. Dowload and print flyer.

Following arrival in Jametown, CA, "King" Kenny Roberts will be hosting the "Wounded Warriors Museum Ride". A tour through the Sierra’s, ending with a reception at Kenny’s Moto-Ranch.
2013 - DEA Maltz Challenge Honoree - Cpl. Michael D. Anderson, Jr.
May 26, 2011 - Mission Complete - "Back To Ground Zero" - Follow SSgt Brian Stutzman's solo ride to Ground Zero and Arlington National Cemetary. Printable flyer in PDF format.
January 14, 2011 - Denham Staff Member Receives “Distinguished American Patriot Award
Resolution Gear 3/5 T Shirt Update. Get Some!
August 31, 2010 - Mike Sr. Interview with Fox 40 - Father Of Fallen Marine Reacts To Iraq Withdrawal.
May 18, 2010 - New law protects families of fallen service members. CA AB 585 is signed into law by Governor Schwarzeneggar.
March 1, 2010 - They Fought For You! Will You Fight For them?
January 25, 2010 - Command General Odierno letter to CMC Conway thanking our Marines for Service, Stability, and Sacrifice in the transformation of Iraq.
November 14, 2009 - Poem dedicated to our hero by Cpl. V in his new War's Paint Blog.
May 16, 2009 - Photo Gallery and trailer of the Premier showing of Perfect Valor at the GI Film Festival in Washington, D.C. Mike Sr. is the personal guest of USMC Major A.J. Mc Nulty.
March 11, 2009 - AJ's Squad Buddies sending a Tribute from their second tour inside the Sandbox.
October 8, 2008 - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Applauds Creation of the Gold Star Family License Plate.
Young American Patriot Award Honoring Cpl. Michael D. Anderson, Jr. 2007 award was presented to Ryan Rust.
AJ Remembered in "Stellar Stud Marine". Winner of "Best Documentary" in the WVC Film Festival. This is a Nicholas Molle, Digital Clubhouse Network production.
Jr.'s letter from Fallujah, Published in Newsweek Magazine. This letter from Fallujah was sent home in October of 2004. 'Then I heard the voice fo the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me".' Isaiah 6:8 -Oorah, Mike Sr.
A Tribute to Cpl. Jonathon Benson, who gave his life for our Country and our Freedom. Rest In Peace Marine, We will never Forget!
Extended Current Events Menu.

Gold Star Plate Victory

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Governor Schwarzenegger Applauds Creation of the Gold Star Family License Plate

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today highlighted California’s creation of the Gold Star Family License Plate. The Governor signed SB 1455 by Senator Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto), which enables family members who have lost an active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces in current and prior wars to obtain a Gold Star Family License Plate honoring the sacrifices their families have endured.

“We owe Gold Star Families a debt we can never repay – and enabling them to honor the memory of their sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers is the least we can do,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “When you see a Gold Star License Plate on the road, remember to think about those who have given their lives to defend our way of life, and keep their families and loved ones in your prayers.”

Allowing the state to honor Gold Star Families without placing a burden on California taxpayers, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Motor Vehicles will fund the start up costs of the Gold Star Family License Plates using private donations. Additionally, as a token of the state’s appreciation for their sacrifice, SB 1455 provides a special waiver of some fees for Gold Star Families obtaining the plate.

Gold Star Plate Presentation
From left to right: Mike Anderson, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Tom Johnson, Senator Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto) and California Department of Motor Vehicles Director George Valverde

Gold Star Plate Presentation
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presents Angela and Mike Anderson with a commemorative copy of the Gold Star Family License Plate bill

Photo Credit: Joe McHugh, Office of the Governor


Transript of Presentation Ceremony Speaches:

GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, thank you very much, Secretary Johnson, for the nice introduction and also for being such an outstanding Secretary. I mean, he’s one of my favorites. That man really creates action, so let’s give him a big hand for the great, great work that he is doing. (Applause)
I also want to thank Senator Dave Cogdill, who is here with us today, who is of course the author and he’s going to talk about the Gold Star license plate, the bill, which is SB 1455, so we want to thank him also for the great work. And then, of course, General Ellsworth is with us here today with the California National Guard. And George Valverde from the DMV, we want to thank him also, like you already said, Tom, about the great work that he has done with this whole team and so on.

For me it’s a great pleasure to be here today and to talk about this bill, because there were more than 400 bills that we were able to sign this fall. And this is one of my favorite bills, SB 1455, because Senator Cogdill and Senator Denham have worked on that bill now for the last two years and sometimes it takes a long time to get things done here for everyone, for the 120 legislators to go in the same direction here. And so we want to thank Senator Cogdill and Senator Denham for the great work that they have done, so let’s give them a big hand. (Applause)

And I think that this bill is very important because so many of the families that have lost a loved one up until now have had their Gold Star displayed at their windows or at their door. But now, with this bill, they will be able to display this Gold Star on license plates all over the state of California. And I think this is really terrific, because the men and women, the brave men and women that we have that are fighting overseas and that are defending this country and fighting for keeping our democracy and our freedom here, have done such an extraordinary job and many times paid the ultimate price. And I think it is important for us to have a symbol like the Gold Star and to have this displayed on license plates.

And, of course, I always say that I think the world of these brave men and women because of what they have done for the last few centuries for this country. And I think that I would not be able to be here today as an immigrant and enjoy this great land of opportunities and for people who come from all around the world and also people that are born here to enjoy this great country, which is the greatest country in the world — even though now when we go through some very difficult times, it is, without any doubt, the greatest country in the world and I’ve been all over the world.

But it is that great because there were brave men and women throughout the history that have fought for this country and so this is why I think this is a very, very important bill. I have said many times also that in movies I have played an action hero many times. But those brave men and women in uniform are the true action heroes and this is why it is such a great pleasure for me later on, after Senator Cogdill gets through with his talk, to then go over to the table here and to sign these bills into action.

So thank you very much and now I would like to bring out Senator Cogdill to say a few words about this bill. Thank you very much. Senator Cogdill, please. (Applause)

SENATOR COGDILL: Thank you very much, Governor Schwarzenegger. I certainly want to acknowledge the hard work that your administration did working with us to get this bill to your desk and certainly for your signature. It means an awful lot to a lot of people and as you acknowledged earlier, Senator Denham is the one that really picked the ball up and started to run with it a couple of years ago and I’m just very pleased to have had the honor to be involved this year and to share with him — unfortunately, he can’t be here today with us but I know he’s here in spirit. This is a very important issue for him and I know he’s very pleased that we’ve made it to this point.

I also want to acknowledge quickly Senator Alan Lowenthal, who was and is the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. Senator Lowenthal worked with us to amend this bill to the point where we could ultimately get it to the Governor’s desk and I just want to acknowledge that.

And I certainly want to also acknowledge the great work that Secretary Johnson does. I know each and every one of you that are here that are a veteran or a member of a veteran’s family know the hard work he’s doing and the great progress that we’ve made, I think, in this state since he’s been Secretary on Veterans Affairs and I just wanted to personally thank him for that.

You know, this bill, although it’s been a long time coming, is something that, again, we’re all very proud of. And just to have this opportunity to show our appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice that has been paid for each and every one of us and to allow these families to be able to display the Gold Star license plate and to be able to each and every day remind all of us of the sacrifices that are made really on an ongoing basis — and that’s certainly been the case over the last five years or so in a big way — of families throughout this region as they have sent loved ones off to foreign wars and have unfortunately, again, had to pay the ultimate price for our freedoms. And to have this opportunity to acknowledge that is something, again, that we’re obviously very proud of and something that I think is long overdue. And again, I certainly want to commend the Governor and the Secretary for all the hard work they did on that.

It’s my pleasure now to introduce a couple who brought this idea to me and to Senator Denham early on as a result of this tragedy that took place in their life. Their son, Michael Anderson Jr., was killed December 14th, 2004, in the battle of Fallujah. He was a stellar marine that had an amazing record and definitely gave his life as a hero for this country. And the real testimony to Michael and the person he was, I think, are his parents and how much they have dedicated, not only to his memory but to the memory of all those that have paid this price to work as hard as they have to bring us to this day. So at this point it gives me great honor to introduce Michael Anderson and his lovely wife. Mike? (Applause)

MICHAEL ANDERSON: Good afternoon. I’m humbled and delighted to be here in Sacramento today. This is a very special day for California’s Gold Star Families. This is an extremely momentous, however bittersweet occasion for the grieving family members, like myself and my wife and the ones behind us, to have our children, our loved ones, honored and recognized.

Many individuals have worked untold hours to see that this bill ahs come to fruition. I would like to personally thank Governor Schwarzenegger, Senator Dave Cogdill, Senator Jeff Denham and their staffs for taking on this goal of recognition. I would also like to thank California’s Gold Star families, our veterans, the men and women in uniform that are currently serving, the Blue Star Moms and everyone that has supported us in this endeavor. I would also like to thank my family for being patient and understanding throughout this process.

Our hearts have been broken and a piece of us is missing. But acknowledgement, along with recognition, will always have a place in our forever shattered hearts. These Gold Star Family license plates will forever remind California’s motoring public of the sacrifice and bloodshed is something that we Gold Star Families wake up with every day.

I would like to close with a quote from our late, great President Ronald Reagan: “We will always remember, we will always be proud, we will always be prepared so that we may always be free.” Thank you. (Applause)

At this point I’d like to turn it back over to Governor Schwarzenegger. Thank you.

GOVERNOR: All right, now we’re going to sign those bills and create some action.

SECRETARY JOHNSON: I’d like to thank everyone again for coming out to this wonderful occasion and taking those words of Mike Anderson to heart, we are all indebted and will never forget. So thank you, especially to those who are serving in uniform, all those hats that are behind me and to all of you who have supported our veterans and our active military, I appreciate it. Our department is there to serve you. Thank you for coming.


News 10 Coverage On Gold Star Family Plate SB1455


Victory, Along With History Achieved

These will be issued in numerical sequence based on applications. They are not available just yet. We have to go through an extensive design process, then production. I believe that we should be bolting them on our cars sometime after the first of the year?

My understanding is that each eligible party has to have a vehicle registered in their names, and of course, in California. Meaning, if you (3) vehicles registered in your name, you can apply for up to (3) plates (sets)… 1 set per vehicle.

These will be like Purple Heart Plates, once you have it, you keep it and put it vehicle to vehicle.

Below is my quote to the State for the Official Press Release:

"This is a bittersweet solemn occasion for the California Families of our Fallen. I am very pleased for the recognition of our heroes and the Gold Star Families that have lost a loved one to conflict abroad. I feel this is not a celebratory moment, however this bill is history making for our Golden State. I personally want to thank Governor Schwarzenegger, Senator Dave Cogdill, and Senator Jeff Denham for their unwavering commitment and support, in the acknowledgement of our sacrifice."

Michael Sr. and Angela Anderson


Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation to Create the Gold Star Family License Plate

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced he has signed SB 1455 by Senator Dave Cogdill (R-Modesto), authorizing the creation of the California Gold Star Family License Plate. The legislation paves the way for families who have lost loved ones in current and prior wars to obtain license plates honoring the sacrifices their families have endured.

"I am very pleased to sign this bill to honor the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women and their families," said Governor Schwarzenegger.

"When you see one of these license plates on the road, think about those who have given their lives to defend our way of life, and keep their families in your thoughts and prayers."

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Motor Vehicles will fund the start up costs of the Gold Star Family License Plates using private donations, allowing the state to honor Gold Star Families without placing any burden on California taxpayers. Also, as a token of the state’s appreciation for their sacrifice, the bill provides a special waiver of fees for Gold Star Families.

SB 1455 authorizes the creation of the Gold Star Family License Plate and authorizes a family member of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces killed on active duty to apply for the plate containing a gold star and the words "Gold Star Family."

Video Courtesy of the California DOT Video Archives