Did you know that the Vietnam Veterans Day is at the end of this month, March 29?
Looking forward to that day, let me introduce you to Navy Lt. Ronald Jon Frederick. Frederick is a Vietnam Combat Veteran and Navy SEAL. He enlisted in 1968 and he and his wife Rhonda Suzette Frederick, of 53 years, were married in 1970, right before he left for Vietnam. He served in the Navy for 11 years and they enjoyed military life, (“It was fun!” Suzette says). They were stationed in Virginia Beach, Virginia; Okinawa; the Philippines; and San Diego. He was discharged in 1979.
Ron went to the corporate world for a number of years before a career with the Social Security Administration, from which he retired. He later worked as a manager for the Washington State Corporate Division of the Secretary of State’s Office, retiring in 2019 and, in that same year, was elected as the mayor of DuPont.
Suzette holds a Masters of Public Administration and has a resume of award-winning professional jobs over many years, retiring in 2011 from the State of Washington. Ron and Suzette have three children, Asa, Angela and Rhonda, and five grandchildren: J.J., Sophia, Emeka, Keanan, and Eva.
American history is a passion of Ron and Suzette. In 2015, she joined the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and Ron joined the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). Later that year, three grandsons, J.J., Emeka, and Keanan were also inducted into the SAR.
Currently, Suzette is the Registrar for the Olympia-based Sacajawea DAR Chapter and for the Washington State DAR Society. (The registrar’s office is responsible for genealogical applications based on verified family trees.)
Ron first joined the SAR’s Alexander Hamilton Chapter in Tacoma and, five years later, was an organizing member of the George Rogers Clark SAR Chapter in Olympia. Ron is their current Vice President.
Note: The George Rogers Clarke Chapter was named for the highest-ranking Patriot military officer on the northwestern frontier during the Revolutionary War. George Rogers Clark was an older brother of William Clark who, with Merriweather Lewis, led the Corps of Discovery Expedition, establishing what is termed the Lewis & Clarke Trail.
Emeka Frederick Egbuka
Now I will introduce grandson Emeka. Emeka got a head start from the Running Start program at Steilacoom High School and is now a Sophomore majoring in Marketing at Ohio State University. He will likely graduate academically in 2024 and is interested in graduate studies. But he is also a football wide receiver. His 2022 statistics for receiving are 1,151 yards and ten touchdowns. (Plus, he had a couple more touchdowns when they used him for running plays.) Who knows, he may go to the NFL!
The following essay, written by Ron Frederick, is about Emeka and America. It is patriotic, genealogical, and inspiring. Please read on for inspiration:
My grandson, Emeka Egbuka, is America. Many people will look at Emeka and say, “Wow, this handsome young man is an African American star football player for The Ohio State University.” That would be a true statement, but it only includes a small portion of historical truth.
Emeka was inducted into the Sons of the American Revolution in 2015. How can that be? That would indicate that Emeka has ancestors that were patriots during the American Revolution. In fact, he has more than a dozen proven patriots who participated in that conflict.
Moreover, Emeka has ancestors who have participated in every war in the history of the USA. For example, three of his great grandparents are veterans of World War II. He has several four times great grandfathers who fought in the Civil War. His grandfather is a Vietnam Veteran, and his father is a Veteran of the War on Terror. Some of his ancestors were pilgrims in Massachusetts and others were some of the first settlers who arrived in Jamestown, Virginia. Emeka’s mother (my daughter) is European American, and his father is African American. That is just a small list of the actual history.
DNA analysis will show that Emeka is 12 percent Ashkenazi Jew as well as 50 percent Igbo Tribe from Nigeria. His ancestry includes Irish Sea Captains, Scottish Highlanders, and Vikings. It includes farmers, merchants, and warriors. This is the story of America. This is the story of diversity, patriotism, and opportunity.
There are people from every corner of the planet who call America home. This diversity and mixing of cultures continues to be a wonderful strength for our nation. No other nation has such diversity. By drawing on the diversity, ideas, and strengths of many cultures, we create synergy to make our nation stronger. This can enhance our vision as we move forward. Let us not wear blinders and say that only one vision can move us forward to a successful future.
Remember the story of Emeka. He is America.
Shirley Stirling, of Lacey, writes about good things people in Thurston County are doing. If you’d like to nominate someone to be profiled, contact her at shirley@theJOLTnews.com or comment below.
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Shirley - such a great story! Love it! It's so true, our ancestry is such a diverse mix of cultures that is not visible on the outside.
Saturday, March 18 Report this
Let's send this to all of our leaders and politicians who are afraid our county is loosing its whites-only status--having forgotten that we are a nation of immigrants, and better for it.
Saturday, March 18 Report this