Rancho Remembers is a self-funded program ran by Event Coordinators and Founders Aaron Bishop and Robert Sanchez. The program’s mission and goals are to bring awareness, education, honor, value to students, to know that Freedom is not Free, and to thank our Veterans who have sacrificed so much for their country. Rancho Remembers has grown significantly from its first year with 34 Veterans attending and 90 students participating to now after its 9th year with 284 Veterans and over 900 students learning their stories. The students take all the success from the program as they do all the planning, organizing, set up, mailers, thank yous, and sponsorship.
Aaron, who has been teaching for 20 years, explains how he realized his importance as a history teacher in bringing history alive for his students:
“Growing up I had 6 uncles who served in WWII and unfortunately they all passed away before I became a teacher. 9 years ago we had an arrangement for my wife’s grandpa to come and speak to my class because he was a WWII Veteran who served in the Philippines. He passed away before he had the chance to speak. My wife encouraged me to try to get as many local Veterans to come and share their history with our students. I have knocked on doors, visited retirement communities, chat with people at the grocery store, strolled through mobile home parks, you name it… I have done it to recruit Veterans to participate. I want the kids to have a chance to witness and listen to real history not tainted or changed by textbooks or state curriculum. I remind the kids to look past the gray, winkles, slow speech, etc…..because every single story you hear is going to be through the eyes of a 19 year old kid.”
The John P. Previti Memorial Foundation has been an ongoing supporter of the Rancho Remembers program:
“What your contributions does is tremendous…it allows us to maintain a quality program that the community, students, and Veterans enjoy.” – Aaron Bishop, Event Founder/ Coordinator
The most memorable words and greatest compliment from a local hero on behalf of the program:
“Thanks…I have waited for 42 years for a welcome home…and your Students finally have given it to me.” – Vietnam Veteran