U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-39) introduced two bills to rename post offices in Yorba Linda and Placentia in honor of local fallen heroes who paid the ultimate price while defending our freedoms.
Rep. Kim’s bills would rename a Placentia Post Office after U.S. Army Private First Class Jang Ho Kim, a Valencia High School graduate who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq, and a Yorba Linda Post Office after U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Major Robert J. Cottle and Lance Corporal Rick J. Centanni, Yorba Linda residents and brothers in arms who lost their lives together in Afghanistan.
“We are able to enjoy our everyday freedoms because of the dedicated service and sacrifice of those who have answered the call to serve,” said Rep. Kim. “I am proud to honor the sacrifice and valor of these fallen heroes who lost their lives too soon in the fight against terrorism and to help ensure future generations in our Placentia and Yorba Linda communities remember their names and their stories.”
“Jang Ho was a dedicated Army service member, promising young man, and proud American. We love and miss him dearly and are very grateful to the Congresswoman for working hard to honor his memory,” said the Kim Family.
“I wholeheartedly APPROVE of this great honor in memory of my Son Rick and Sergeant Major Cottle. I would like to thank Representative Kim and all others involved in putting forth this awesome act of remembrance. It is greatly appreciated by the Centanni Family and Friends,” said Jon J. Centanni.
“Thank you for proposing the post office dedication to my late husband, Sergeant Major RJ Cottle. The family agrees with me that this would be a lovely tribute. Thank you for remembering his and our sacrifice,” said Emily Cottle.
H.R. 6630 would designate the post office located at 1400 N Kraemer Blvd. Placentia, CA 92871 after PFC Jang Ho Kim. He was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1990, living in New York before moving to Orange County. Kim graduated from Valencia High School in Placentia and enrolled in Fullerton College. A budding computer programmer, Kim helped Grace Korean Church in Fullerton set up their website. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in June 2005, completing both Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Benning, GA. He was subsequently stationed in Germany as part of the Army’s 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division before being deployed to Baghdad. He never shared news of his deployment to Baghdad with his family to keep them from worrying. Tragically, he was one of two soldiers killed when a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle. He received the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, in addition to four other awards, medals and badges for his exemplary service and sacrifice. PFC Jang Ho Kim is buried at the Riverside National Cemetery.
H.R. 6631 would designate the post office located at 4770 Eureka Ave, Yorba Linda, CA 92885 after U.S. Marine Corps SgtMaj Robert J. Cottle and LCpl Rick J. Centanni, who lost their lives together in combat in Helmand Province, Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. The two Yorba Linda residents were good friends made brothers in arms, with Cottle taking Centanni under his wing. They served with the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Headquarters Company, 4th Marine Division, based at Camp Pendleton. Centanni was only 19 years old, a recent graduate of Esperanza High School, with dreams of returning home and following in his father’s footsteps in the Santa Ana Police Department. Centanni is buried at the Riverside National Cemetery. Cottle was the first Los Angeles Police Department officer to be killed in combat since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. He was a leader in the LAPD’s elite SWAT team and a Sergeant Major in the Marine Corps Reserve. He was married to an enlisted member of the Navy and had an 8-month-old daughter when he passed. Cottle is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Centanni received the Purple Heart Medal, Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy and Marine Corps Unit Citation, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, NATO Medal, Marine Corps Expert Rifle Badge and Marine Corps Expert Pistol Badge.
Cottle received many recognitions for his valor as a Marine, including but not limited to the Purple Heart, Bronze Star with Valor, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Unit Citation, NATO Medal, Presidential Unit Citation and Global War on Terror Service Medal. For his time with the LAPD, Cottle was awarded the Medal of Valor, Community Policing Medal, Police Meritorious Unit Citation and Patrol Service Ribbon among other recognitions for his commitment to the safety of our communities.