Ronnie Veral Nash of Hanford, California passed away January 3, 2019 at the age of 71 at the Fresno VA Medical Center. Ron was born in Yakima to Clarence and Juanita Nash on July 7, 1947. He grew up in Sunnyside and Granger, graduating from Granger High School in 1965. He had voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Army and reported for basic training the day after his H.S. graduation, at the age of seventeen. He married his H.S. sweetheart Karen Belton in October 1965 while home on leave. In 1966, he completed airborne training in Wiesbaden, Germany, and volunteered to go to Vietnam. After training with Delta Company, 51ST Prov. Infantry, Fort Lewis, Washington, they shipped out for Vietnam in October of 1966. In March of 1967, he severely burned over 55 percent of his body during an accidental gasoline explosion. In 1968, he applied for and was accepted for Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He graduated from SF training in 1969 and volunteered for a second tour in Vietnam. He returned to Fort Bragg in late 1970. In early 1971, he applied for and was accepted into the Ranger training school at Fort Benning, Georgia. He received his Ranger tab in April of that same year. He volunteered for Vietnam again (third tour) in 1972. In February 1973, they were called out of the field. He volunteered for the Joint Casualty Resolution Center in Thailand. He worked in five-man teams, going into Vietnam, unarmed, searching for MIAs most of whom were downed pilots. During his tours of duty in Vietnam, he was the recipient of the following decorations for his combat actions: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Air Medal for valor, Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He was honorably discharged in March 1974. He was a cross-country truck driver until 1988. He and Karen divorced in 1986. He moved to California and Married Carole Dyer. He went to work for the U.S. Customs service in San Diego in 1988. He retired from the U.S. Customs service in March of 2000. He moved to Hanford, California in 2001. He passed away at the Fresno VA Medical Center on Thursday January 3, 2019. He was a 100% disabled veteran due to PTSD, and complications from his burns and exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. He battled an extended illness last year in which he never fully recovered.
Ron is survived by his two children, Ron Nash of Yakima, Reena (Scott) Calahan of Ellensburg; three granddaughters, Samantha (Blake) Reeves of Ellensburg, Sareena (Zach) Wallace of Kittitas, and Somer Calahan of Ellensburg; and 2 great-grandchildren, Reagan Reeves (3 months), and Baby Wallace (due in June). He is also survived by his first wife Karen (Al) Rouse of Yakima, his siblings, sisters Clarice Cochran, Brinda (Greg) Tucknies, Debbie Nash, brothers Dan (Consuelo) Nash, Doug (Irene) Allen, Terry Allen, Jim (Linda) Allen, Rick (Cindy ) Allen, and Randy (Trish) Nash; numerous nieces and nephews, family, friends and fellow veterans.
He was preceded in death by his mother Juanita Nash, father Clarence Nash, stepmother Mamie (Coder) Nash, brother Gary Nash, sister Arvilla Dodd, and brother-in-law Pete Dodd.
A Celebration of Life Memorial service will be held Saturday January 26th at 2:00 PM at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 10203 W. Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98908.
He will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.