The Lt. Jerry Novakovich, Post 1525, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is located at 2290 Willow Pass Road in Concord, California. Our building was constructed in the late 1920s and maintained throughout the years to retain the magesty of that era.
We welcome the opportunity to have people tour the interior of our building and view:
- “The Five Seals of Defense” a painting designed by a Boy Scout for his Eagle Scout rating.
- The American Flag that draped the coffin of Concord’s first KIA in Iraq is displayed in his honor in the Assembly Room.
- View the many Plaques and awards presented to the VFW, American Legion and Military Order of the Purple Heart for recognition of their accomplishments.
- The downstairs area contains our cafeteria and kitchen. We have installed an elevator to assist those who find difficulties in going up and down stairs. Attend the VFW’s breakfasts held on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. From 8 am to 11 am, Enjoy eggs served to your order, pancakes, sausages, coffee, cocoa, and orange juice. While dining enjoy viewing the 54 replicas of WWII posters that supported and boosted America ideals during that conflict.
Post 1525 welcomes all, be they veterans or civilians, for we are proud to be a part of America’s Community.
OUR MOTTO IS: SERVICE CONTINUES AFTER THE UNIFORM IS REMOVED
Jerry Novakovich – A Tribute
by Jerome Hudson, VFW Post 1525
Our post, founded in 1988, is named in honor of 2/LT Jerry Novakovich, who was KIA leading a patrol in Vietnam in 1968.
Here is how he was remembered by those fortunate enough to know Jerry :
Dear Lt Jerry Novakovich, Thank you for your service as an Infantry Unit Commander. Your 75th birthday is soon, happy birthday. I hate that you passed on your birthday, so sad. Saying thank you isn’t enough, but it is from the heart. Time passes quickly. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness, especially now. Rest in peace with the angels.
You were such a crazy down the street neighbor in Clayton. We spent one Halloween blocking Pine Hallow Rd with old pumpkins, and you had the best garage scary garage place for kids to go thru on Halloween. You loved baseball and I vividly remember playing catch with you pitching a curve ball…. you were definently a class act and I think of you often even more so now since my brother Philip passed on this May 2019… He never got over his service in Vietnam and I’m sure you can talk about old times with him… RIP Jerry
It’s been 18,615 days since you paid the ultimate sacrifice, so many in this country have forgotten but not me nor your loved ones. Rest in peace Brother, your in my thoughts daily.
I remember Jerry from Gymnastics at CVHS…He was a real leader then as I have learned he was while serving so gallantly in Vietnam.
I honor him today for without men like Jerry and the sacrafices they so willingly made for our freedoms and those oppressed so far from home this would never have been the Great Country that we call America.
May he and his brothers in arms forever rest in PEACE for they have truly paid the price for the freedoms that we enjoy today…
Like most American soldiers, Jerry was a fantastic young man, was a patriotic American, and died a heroic soldier.
I’d known Jerry since he and his wonderful parents moved to Clayton in the 7th grade. We became best friends, playing, doing homework, sports, working on cars, double dating and everything else together. However Jerry was so well liked and respected, that he had many “best friends” in whatever he did. As an only child, he did not have to serve in the military but with 3 years of college behind him and feeling he should do his part, he enlisted, went to OCS, and served stateside at Fort Jackson, South Carolina for 6 months. With orders for Vietnam, he then was assigned as a 2nd Lt. Platoon Leader in the 4th Infantry Division.
Jerry’s letters to his parents were comforting by downplaying the combat, but his dailey journal laid out more graphically his experiences with ambushes, humping through the jungles, conveys his love for his men, the loss in combat of his fellow soldiers, and his appreciation for the mission we were trying to accomplish for the Vietnamese people.
Jerry wrote to ask that pen-pal letters be written to the young men in his platoon by college girls. He wrote of the beauty of Vietnam, of Monsoon rains and “C” rations, of their helping and medically treating the villagers, of hot and cold LZ’s, of the deaths of fellow Lieutenants Burback, Sandifur and Spencer Powers, and of how he must remain strong for the sake of his men.
His dedication shows again in his last journal entry the day before he was killed. “Today is our 30th consecutive in the field. I’m almost ready to go in for a few days. The only reason I want to go in is because of tomorrow (his 22nd birthday), but guess that isn’t too important so I would like to wait a few more days.”
The next day’s operation we know about from Jerry’s Bronze Star citation. His unit was patrolling in dense jungle west of Hoi An when a large NVA force hit them with recoiless rifle, mortar and automatic weapons fire. Jerry deployed his men in a defensive perimeter then during the battle made repeated trips under fire outside the perimeter to bring in his exposed and wounded men. Finally on one such trip Jerry himself was also killed.
A letter from Jerry’s Company Commander also praised him. “Jerry was an outstanding officer and gentleman. He was well liked and highly respected by his fellow officers as well as the men with whom he served. Jerry served in a manner which brought only honor to himself, his family and to the United States Army.”
The loss of our Jerry, for his family, friends and loved ones will always be missed. The bright future he could have had with his happy zest for life, a loving wife, children and grandchildren for Bill & Phyllis, and a successful career, is a sacrifice and tragic loss that can never be filled.
Now with the hindsight of history most Americans give long overdue respect to Vietnam veterans. Eventually Vietnam will also be free, and the Vietnamese people will also erect statues to the American soldiers who tried to give them freedom. When they do, it will be brave and worthy men like Jerry Novakovich, that they will have in mind to honor.
By friend, Pete Laurence – Vietnam Green Beret 66/67
When Jerry Fell
The day Jerry was killed was on his 22nd birthday. He was leading a platoon of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Vietnam. As they proceeded on their patrol, the enemy opened fire with mortars and rifles. The unit was pinned down, but found cover behind an earthen berm behind a ditch. Jerry exposed himself frequently to enemy fire, bringing in men who were wounded and unprotected. Some enemy soldiers were attempting to rush the platoon. As a platoon leader is expected to do, Jerry arose again to give directions to his unit, and was hit by small arms fire. Mortar rounds killed and wounded many in the platoon, which was relieved by U.S. gunships attacking the enemy. The platoon could not be evacuated until the next day. 
Jerry was posthumously awarded a bronze star for his bravery and leadership. 
He was greatly admired by his troops – the ultimate compliment to a soldier and a leader of men.
 I’m taking some of this from a personal account by Victor DeMitchell, also posted on , and also from the account given above by Pete Laurence.