SACRAMENTO – Five veterans from the Coachella Valley were honored at a ceremony in Desert Hot Springs on Saturday, May 4 as Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Riverside County, presented his 2019 Veterans Service Awards.

Five veterans from Southwest County were honored at a ceremony in Wildomar.

“We had a record number of nominations and it was quite a challenge to select the 10 recipients this year,” Stone said in a prepared statement. “While I believe everyone who serves honorably in our military is worthy of special recognition, after reviewing the applications with the veterans who serve on my staff, these are the veterans who were selected for this year’s awards.”

Stone’s Veterans Service Awards are based not only on military service, but on the contributions each veteran has made in his or her community following their time in uniform.

The following is a list of the 2019 honorees from the Coachella Valley for the Veterans Service Award and some of their accomplishments:

  • Petty Office Frederick “Jim” Hawks, United States Navy

For more than a decade Jim Hawks has helped VFW Post 3699 grow in communities from Palm Desert to Mecca. He has served as VFW All-State Post Quarter/Master and All-State Post Commander for VFW Post 3699.

Jim and his wife Lynn have been instrumental in putting on the Post Awards Dinner at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa.

He has been the Post Buddy Distribution Chairman for five years which has collected over $4,000 each year to help local Veterans.

Jim is involved in many activities that positively impact our community.

  • Petty Officer Daryl Leon “Jesse” James, United States Navy

Daryl James was born in Illinois and joined the Navy in 1944. He served in both World War II and Korean War.

Daryl moved to California 1952, but moved back to Chicago in 1959. In 1973 he returned to California to stay and, in 1975, purchased a Palm Springs hotel which became the first gay resort in Warm Springs.

He is the former President of the Palm Springs Gay Tourism Guild and former Vice-President of the Palm Springs Gay Veterans

Daryl was a charter member of AMVETS Post 66 and served as post treasurer when AMVETS dedicated America’s first LGBTQ Veteran’s Memorial in 2001.

Daryl has also served as chairman of the Riverside County Veterans Advisory Committee and has been involved with many veterans’ organizations and event.

  • Staff Sergeant Thomas A. Swann, United States Marine Corps, Rancho Mirage

Tom Swann is a champion of veterans’ rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, sexual orientation/identity rights, AIDS Awareness and Health Maintenance Organization Accountability.

Tom is a Vietnam Era Veteran who is a founder of AMVETS Post 66 in Palm Springs, District 9 AMVETS Commander, and a member of both the American Legion and the VFW.

He also is a founding Chairman of the California Democratic Party’s Veterans Caucus, Past President of Palm Springs Gay Veterans and a member of the California State Democratic Central Committee.

Tom led the effort to build the LGBT Veterans Memorial in Cathedral City.

  • Corporal R. Ronald Hare, MD, United States Army, Rancho Mirage

Dr. Ron Hare joined the Army in 1954 and was stationed overseas as a Morse Code Interceptor. Following active duty he enrolled at UC Riverside and then the University of California San Francisco Medical School, graduating in 1964.

After years of both Public and Private Practice in Los Angeles, he and his wife Norma retired to the desert in 1985. Ron has held a number of positions in non-profit organizations including Chamber of Commerce President, Chairman of the Riverside County Fair Board, and JFK Memorial Hospital board member and chairman.

In 2008, Ron began his efforts to provide no-charge health care services to uninsured and underinsured residents. In 2010, the newly incorporated Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine first opened their clinic doors and two years later CVVIM moved into a new 5,000 square-foot facility funded by Riverside County.

Relying on volunteers and a small paid staff, CVVIM provides comprehensive medical and dental care without charge to thousands of Coachella Valley residents.

  • Senior Airman Daniel Prince Ball, United States Air Force, Bermuda Dunes

Dan Ball joined the Air Force from his home of Archbold, Ohio in 1993 and served as a military journalist covering Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

A familiar face in the Coachella Valley, after his military service Dan got his start in local news as a reporter for TV station KESQ in the mid-1990s. He went on to work at other stations in Nevada and Indiana before returning to the desert in 2015 to anchor day-time broadcasts on KMIR.

Currently he is a local realtor.

Lead Photo caption: (left to right) Daniel Ball, Jim Hawks, Senator Stone, Tom Swann, Daryl James, Ron Hare


Image Sources

  • Sen. Stone’s Veteran Services Award: Sen. Jeff Stone