Veteran honored at remembrance ceremony | Los Gatan

​​On Aug. 21, the Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation assisted a local family in organizing a remembrance ceremony for a Los Gatos veteran who died on July 3.

Dodi Brooks Gaines, 75, an Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient from wounds suffered in a mortar attack in Vietnam, was remembered at the site of the Veterans Memorial on Main Street for his love of family, ever-present smile and giving heart.  

Gaines made more than 20 trips back to Vietnam over the years building and funding schools, water infrastructure programs, and health care clinics. He also served as an Honorary Board Director for the D.O.V.E Fund (Development of Vietnam Endeavors).

After Gaines’ death in July, the call for assistance was put out to the Los Gatos Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation by his sister in Arkansas, and team members jumped into action with other local businesses to offer support. 

Darling Fischer, Chapel of the Hills organized a contingent of the California State Guard to be in attendance. A bugler played “Taps” and two other uniformed soldiers folded a flag that was given to Major General Kent Hillhouse to present to Gaines’ wife of 21 years, Ai Ngoc Ngo.  

Dodi Gaines photoDodi Gaines photo
Dodi Gaines (Contributed)

Refreshments were provided by the Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company.

Rob Stephenson, a board director for the Veterans Foundation, said that it was great to see so many people and businesses come together to support the family of a local veteran.

“It really speaks to the character of the community when so many resources and people step up without hesitation to support the family of a veteran,” he said. “It was a humbling experience to be a part of, and the Veterans Foundation was honored to have had the opportunity to organize such a meaningful memorial for Mr. Gaines.”

Gaines’ daughter, My Anh, 12, and son, Phi Anh, 10, assisted in a dove release, which was organized and sponsored by Nicholas Welzenbach of Darling Fischer.

About 25 friends and family members, many who traveled from around the Bay Area and as far away as Arkansas, attended the memorial. 

Stephenson, who served six years in the Marine Corps, wants the community to know that the Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation stands ready to support veterans and their families in their time of need.  

“The foundation’s goals have always been to create a world class memorial and to continuously offer support to veterans and their families,” he said. “We may no longer be in uniform, but we will always serve.”

The Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation can be reached at

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