In 2003, Yvette Weigold had the honor of helping escort the body of Staff Sgt. Cameron Sarno home to Nevada, after the Army reservist was hit by a truck in Kuwait while changing his vehicle’s tire. Deeply moved by that experience, Weigold went on to attend 100 funerals for U.S. servicemembers over the next 12 months. “It really struck a chord with me,” she says.
Fast forward a few years, to the day Weigold met the mother of a Marine who was killed in Iraq. Eager to recognize another fallen hero, she and her fellow Legionnaires wanted to find a permanent way to honor the memory and sacrifice of Lance Cpl. Budd Michael Coté. They decided to name their North Las Vegas post, Post 51, for him.
“It was good for the post because we didn’t really have a focus,” she recalls. “It gave us a duty, a responsibility, to come out here and help maintain (Coté’s) grave site. Our post is committed to honoring him.”
Weigold’s efforts aren’t just for the fallen, but for their families. “It’s important as American Legion members we do everything we can to show them someone does care, and that we haven’t forgotten them,” she says.
That’s not just at funerals or on Memorial Day. “Every day I remember those lost and continue my time in the Legion as a way of making sure that future soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard members are not forgotten,” she says. “Hopefully I’m sharing that feeling with other people, so someone else is inspired to step up and do the same thing.”
Branch of Service Marine Corps (1981-1987), Army (1987-2007)
Rank Sergeant first class
Military Job Finance specialist
American Legion Post Lance Cpl. Budd Michael Coté Post 51, North Las Vegas, Nev.
Years in The Legion 10
- Department commander (2017-present)
- Department first vice commander (2016-2017)
- National Security Commission member (2015-2017)
- Post commander (2010-2012)