Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New and improved letter to Department of Defense

U.S. Secretary of Defense Panetta
Office of the Secretary of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC  20301-1400

Dear Secretary Panetta:

On July 3, 2011, seven California families lost family members aboard the Erik, which capsized in the Sea of Cortez south of San Felipe in Baja, Mexico. As of today, seven California families are left wondering if their loved ones remain within the Erik. They are unable to properly mourn their loved ones, access life insurance, retrieve financial instruments and administer property. The U.S. Department of Defense officially declined the families’ request to send expert divers to aid in the search due to lack of resources.

In 2001, a Japanese fishing vessel, Ehime Maru, was struck by the U.S. Navy Submarine Greenville as it surfaced. The Ehime Maru immediately sunk. It was moved to shallow water as the ocean floor was determined to be too deep to send a dive team. Eight of the missing fishermen's bodies were recovered.

The United States rightly recovered a foreign boat and subsequently searched it for missing crew members. It fittingly can and should afford the same respect to our very own U. S. citizens. It is the U.S. Department of Defense’s duty to search the wreckage and bring our seven missing Americans home. Two of the missing fishermen are decorated U.S. Veterans; Gene Leong is a recipient of a Purple Heart and Albert Mein received eight service awards during his tour in Vietnam.

I respectfully urge you to take immediate action:

         Reconsider the U.S. Department of Defense’s decision about assisting with the recovery efforts
         Appoint experts to locate the boat and lead a feasibility analysis to determine if a dive team can be sent to the Erik’s current location with expert equipment or if the Erik needs to be moved to shallow water for a dive team to search.
         Authorize and deploy an expert team to Baja, Mexico. Based on the feasibility analysis, deploy the expert team(s) needed search and recover the seven missing American men; Donald Lee, Albert Mein, Gene Leong, Russell Bautista, Shawn Chaddock, Mark Dorland and Brian Wong.
It is our duty as the United States to honorably act on behalf of our citizens, especially our U.S. Veterans.


Address ​                     ________________________________________________________________

City, State  Zip           ________________________________________________________________

 cc:       President Obama
            1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We've come this far and have succeeded. This isn't over yet! HELP US!

10,047 monthly active users
3.507 weekly active users
1,595 daily users
Keep spreading the word . . .good job everyone! Our priority is to get petitions signed! The last petition had an unbelievable 2,000 votes and resulted in the search and rescue extended beyond the 96 hour window! BRAVO folks! This was completed in under 5 days!

Now it's a shame to even ask this, but now we need a "search and recovery" with locating the vessel and an investigation that includes a dive. While we would hope that our government would look out for us, we are realizing that this is not necessarily the case. We need YOUR help once again. We need a second petition and this letter is addressed to Leon Panetta, Executive Secretary to the Department of Defense, CC President Obama.

So let's challenge ourselves. We ask you to print the letter to Leon Panetta. Xerox as many as you can. Ask friends, neighbors, strangers to sign them.

Mail them to PO BOX 310 El Granada, CA 94018. DEAD LINE: Friday, August 5. Our goal was 2,000 with the previous petition and we succeeded! Let's make this 10,000!

What's our plan? Xerox and scan each one. Send them to every Congressman on this planet and let them know that we mean business. The families need closure and justice.

Here's a quick review!

1. go to
2. Click on "Spread the Word."
3. Copy and paste letter to US DEFENSE SECRETARY PANETTA
4. Xerox as many as you can
5. Ask family, friends, mail carrier, dog walkers, etc. to sign the petition
6. Mail them to PO BOX 310 El Granada, Ca 94018

*Gathering signatures on petitions work! Help us bring closure and justice to this tragedy and strength to ensure that this doesn't happen to you or your loved ones.*

Monday, July 25, 2011

Petition to DOD!

Office of the Secretary of the Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

 Dear U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta:
As you know, in the early morning hours of July 3, a fishing boat capsized and sank 80-100 miles south of San Felipe, off Mexico's Baja Coast. A grassroots effort by friends and family of the seven missing men has garnered media attention and volunteers, but we need you to take immediate action.

I am making a personal plea for you to use your influence to:

(1) Get the dive approved to investigate the wreckage. I learned today that the dive was not approved by the Department of Defense. The families of the seven missing men need closure. Searching the wreckage would either give them that, or let them know that they can still hope their family members are out there, in the water or on land. Please approve a dive to search the "Erik."

(2) Continue the search efforts. I also learned today that the Mexican Navy has called off their search and rescue. These men could be on land, too weak or far from civilization to contact anyone.

Regardless of the reality of these men's survival, don't the friends and families deserve to find the remains of their loved ones...for closure, to ensure their loved ones are given a proper burial, etc.  Please do not let these opportunities pass by. Please do not condemn the friends and families of these men to a cruel and desperate limbo. Please do not condemn these men to be lost to their loved ones forever.

You hold 7 families' hopes in your hand and when you count the number of individuals per family along with their friends, neighbors, colleagues, and business partners, you are now looking at hundreds of people impacted by this tragedy.  Please help bring their loved ones home.



President Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500


Saturday, July 23, 2011

This will both enlighten you and enrage you; and after you've processed this information we encourage you to act!

Friends in Livermore go the extra mile to support FOF

If it takes a village to raise a child, it will take the collective efforts of family, friends, supporters and politicians to find our fathers, uncles, brothers and best friends. Friends of "find our fathers" in Livermore are working collaboratively to spread our message. Many thank you's to the following:
-The children, family, and staff (Roz Hamar, Ann Clark, Ana Suan and Gretchan Mancieri) of Valley Montessori for showing their support to Mandi Lee and her family.

-MaryEllen Kordes with help of Cindy England for reaching out to supporters within their network to reach

-Arden and Kendall Waters for designing, creating, maintaining and constantly updating the FOF website

-Jamie Chrisp for contacting and organizing Melo and Casa Orozco fundraisers (printing and distributing fliers, DSL printing in Fremont, contacting and using your resources . . .balloons and all)

-Lauren Doko - writing letters, contacting the Livermore Patch, thinking "out of the box" to help our cause, and gathering donations and petitions at your garage sale

-Cindy Pietro and Clear Channel communications for posting FOF on radio station websites and "on air" plugs over 10,000 people

-Andrea Santin for your endless support and for organizing the Rigitoni fundraiser in Dublin

-Thom Brown and Safeway Corporation for supporting our cause by distributing restaurant fliers to your customers (all employees at the Melo's plaza will be dinning at Melo's)

-Chris Brown for connecting with your organization "Livermore Military Families" where in which the co-founder and president of Blue Star Moms sent a mass email to all Northern California families about FOF

-Marc and Maria Canet for using their resources to have trinkets made (flashlights and squeeze balls) to distribute at the Melo's and Casa Orozo fundraiser

-Julie Singleton, Julie Reyes, Jamie Chrisp, Maria Canet, Los Positas Golf Course -Jeff and Geanna DeBenedetti for distributing fliers about the Livermore restaurant fundraisers.

Friday, July 22, 2011

All it takes is just a few to spread the word . . . .thank you Larry Mo!

Dear Friends and Business Partners,

Don't worry this ain't no SPAM mail either. 
I have never written an message like this before but here it goes and if you are reading this it means you are a valued friend or business partner that I have great encounters with or a good vibe with you in the past. So bascally if you are getting this you know you rock!   Needless to say as a friend I am asking for your assistance in the story I am about to share below.  The story is tragic yet through the aid, assistance, and hope of so many kind family members, friends, and strangers it has really shown me the power of getting the word out and the great outpouring of support and spirit of humanity.
So please take a couple of minutes out of your busy day to read the story below because it could happen to you or someone you know.  I am going to give you a brief summary of the story in my words mostly and a little copy paste action. 
On Sunday July 3rd, 2011 at about 2:00 am on a fishing boat named the Erik that was somewhere 60-100 miles south off the of San Felipe and 2 miles off Mexico's Baja coast (Keep in mind Mexican Territory).  There were 43 people on the boat which comprise of 27 American tourist and 16 crew members on board.  So as bad luck has it the boat was hit by a very sudden and violent storm.  Just think it's 2:00 am almost pitch black and you are in the middle of a storm at the mercy of mother nature.  The boat capsized and to date all except 7 souls have been accounted for.
So there was a huge search and rescue effort (SAR) by the Mexican and U.S. Coast Guard.  SAR is usually for 96 hours but through the efforts of all 7 families began an effort to get the SAR extended and it worked.  This effort included contacting media, contacting elected officials and finding support from others. Through these efforts the creation of a tools to help the cause and get the word out to the public:
1) The website  (This has all the info you will need for the story, updates, fundraisers, status, donations, petitions) 

2)  Find Our Fathers Facebook Page

4)  The Find our Fathers Twitter account

So on Tuesday July 12th the SAR effort was formally terminated.  So these 7 men are still missing and keep in mind usually after a search and rescue is over then a recover effort begins.  Here is where excuse my English but the sh*t hits the fan and has caused so outrage and shock due to what happens next.  So basically the Erik is somewhere around 200+ feet down.  So we are in Mexican waters so in order to start a recovery effort we need Mexican government to formally request assistance from the U.S. government since they did not have the resources for a complex dive of this nature.  Well Mexico did request help from the U.S. and the request was then routed to the U.S. Department of Defense (D.O.D.) to formally request resources meaning U.S. divers to be sent to Mexico to search the wreck.  Well you would think of course they will approve this its a no brainer we got 7 missing U.S. citizens 2 of which are veterans and my friend's father Gene Leong even has a Purple Heart from his duty in Vietnam.  We don't leave our people behind.  So the D.O.D formally denied the request on July 12th for the dive........................I know what you are thinking WTF it was our side the U.S. that has failed us which is bullsh*t in my opinion.
So the estimate to do a dive project of this nature is around $300,000 OK really the U.S. government can't spare that much I mean come on we house death row inmates at a cost of up to $92,000 per year but we won't give the families closure on 7 missing U.S. citizens.  Also remember they are declared missing currently so this can also put many families into hardship because of legal issues such as Living Trust, a Will, joint accounts, business owned because they nothing can be executed on since they are missing and not declared...... well you know what I mean.  So seriously people this makes me sad to be a U.S. citizen for the first time in my life to hear that our government doesn't have the backs of these families.  If it was some elected official you know we would be down there with divers already but basically they are saying these 7 souls and their families are not important enough for our resources = $$$.  Some one let the D.O.D. know that they should stop following the phrase "greed is good" cause humanity is more important.  They paid taxes all their lives and are honest law abiding citizens so where the heck is our tax money going if not to help our own??
OK here is my vested interest in this story.  I personally know 2 of the missing men which is Donald Lee and Gene Leong.  They are the fathers of friends that I have known since high school and I grew up being friends with their kids who I am good friends with today. Don actually became my uncle in law a few years ago after I was married.   It really doesn't hit home when you are watching the news and see something like this on TV till it happens to someone you know or even worse to 2 people you know.  Donald and Gene play many roles as husband's, father's, grandfather's  brother's, friend's, and mentor's depending on who you are.  They are good kind hearted men that always wanted to help people so lets do these 7 men justice and try to bring them home or have a dive to investigate what happened to them. 
So this is the current status of what Find Our Fathers has as goals to accomplish and both goals are of equal priority. 
  • With the support of many; family, friends and even strangers; many fund raising events are being coordinated to cover the cost of a self-funded dive expedition (estimated to be $300,000).  See website for details on events or how to donate
  • Urge the Department of Defense or any other entity in government to get a dive approved.  If you go to the website on the upper left corner of the home page there is a electronic petition or if you would like additional info or a hard copy template to print please select "spread the word" under the "How you can help" area on the home page of
The entire goal of this email weather you receive this via work email, personal email, facebook, or attached to a pigeon is lets all help get the word out there to as many people as you think is possible.  Please feel free to forward my email to anyone who you think will assist doesn't matter if it's just signing the petition but the more people that know the better and if we are based on a democracy then let the people be heard.  So yes I am using the power of the web to spread the word for my friends and their families because just imagine it could have happened to any of us.  If we can't depend on the government then fine, I know we can depend on hearts of people.
If you can assist with any of these items below we would greatly appreciate it:
1) Sign the petition electronic on the home page or use the templates provided in the

2) Show your support by donating or coming to a fund raising event if you are in the area.  There is a donation link also on the website

3) Spread the word!!  Send this message to anyone that you think will listen it is a honorable cause and tell them to keep spreading the message.  My hope is that in the end this message that I am sending will eventually reach thousands of people and those people know tens of thousands of people you know chain reaction.  Use whatever means you think will help the cause.  Email, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Text, phone, or even smoke signals. 

4) If you have ideas on how to help the cause or fund raise or know any business that would be helpful to the cause please let me know.  Every little bit helps at this point

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you can help with the cause.  It is amazing what people are capable of when others need help it's the kindness of all who have helped so far and those to help in the future that bring hope and strength to these seven families and public awareness is currently our strongest tool at hand.  "Hope gives us strength"  a quote from Find Our Fathers cause.  So that is the far

Russell Bautista
Shawn Chaddock
Mark Dorland
Don Lee
Gene J. Leong
Al Mein
Brian Wong
"And knowing is half the battle"

Kind regards,
Larry Mo

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Official Site of San Felipe and Baja

Check out this site - specifically take a look at July 4-15 posts.

** FUNDRAISER - Show your support - Join us at Papaya Grill TODAY! **

20% of sales on Wednesday, July 20
will be donated to Find Our Fathers!
Please plan a meal or two at the San Ramon Papaya Grill located at
280 Market Place,
San Ramon, CA  94583

Wednesday, July 20. All day (10:00 am - 8 pm)

Thank you!

A huge thank you to the The Prickly Pear Cantina for a great fundraiser yesterday!  There was a packed house with
good food, drinks and company!

Thank you to all of you that came out to support Find Our Fathers!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

** Support Find Our Fathers at the Prickly Pear Cantina! **

20% of sales on Tuesday, July 19
will be donated to Find Our Fathers!
Prickly Pear Cantina
Please patronize the Prickly Pear Cantina located at
3421 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, Danville, CA.
All day (11:30 am - 9 pm)

Thanks to Rodney Worth (proprietor) and Eric Parcasio
for supporting our cause!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

** FUNDRAISERS: July 19, 20 and 28th **

Show your support for Find Our Fathers!
to see our upcoming fundraisers!

Thank you to
the Prickly Pear Cantina, Papaya Grill and
Melo's Pizza and Pasta

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Prayer List

Below is a list of people who have sent prayers via our
Find Our Fathers Facebook page

The families of the survivors and missing men are overwhelmed with the amount of support and prayers that people have sent.  We realize that there are lots of prayers that are being sent that may not be posted, so thank you, thank you, thank you!  We feel truly blessed to be surrounded by such truly genuine, warm-hearted people.  Thank you!

Aaron Nielson
Aimee Nunes Rubia
Alana Chin
Alex Christianson
Alycia Kim
Amber Foltman Schocdal
Amber Tamera Lomas
Amy Reynolds
Andy Schwipps-Allison
Angela Huang
Ann Marie Bailey
Ann Scullion
Ann Walsh
Annette Alcones Fucanen
Anthony Soohoo
Anthony Spears
Barbara Borelli
Barney Mangabay
Becky Smith
Becky Springmeyer
Bet Embree
Beth Griewing
Betty Fritz
Bill Lee
Brenda Miller Lenz
Bridgette Cox-Ulkaonu
Bridgette Spaky Bee LuvnMe
Bryan Hargrave
Cameron Nichols
Camille Hudson
Carey Aloha - Levine
Carissa Lugo Leimbach
Carissa Lugo Leimoach
Caroline Bader-Hepting
Cassandra Karen Reed
Catherine Cuevas
Cathy Lambiase
Cecelia Ferry Peterson
Chelsea Haberman
Chelsea Lewis
Cherie L. Nelson Rowe
Cheryl Wong
Christian Calingo
Christina Sandoval
Christina Souza Pontiflet
Christine Harkness
Cindy (Lou) Sheridan
Cindy Ford
Cindy Sheridan
Cindy Younker Fleckner
Cortny Reina Goodman
Craig Gietzen
Dan Dias
Dan Fryk
Dana Rubio Garcia
Dani McQuinn
Dani Thelena
Danielle Maie Beardsley
Danny Wandersee
Daren Dunn Findley
Dawn Matthews
Debra Chew Chan
Dee V. Ram
Denise Naganume
Denise Salazzar
Donna Gonzales
Donnalee Fejeran
Doreen Miller
Douglass Magee
Ed Berbena
Elayne Fiorelle Forgie
Eleanor Carmen Arreola
Elle Johnson
Erin Peterson Gilmore
Erlanda Anderson
Fiona Szeto Dalipe
Gail Lund
Gail Tsang-Lieuw-On
George Del Castillo
Gina Anadon Alaniz
Gloria Ritchie
Heather Rath
Helen Millus
Hisa Naito
Ivy Tom
J.C. Chinn
Jaime Benzar Chrisp
James Benjamin Mariano
James Hallen
James Klyn
Jane Ng-Lara
Janelle Manalo
Jason Mein
Jd Adkins
Jennifer Wadsworh
Jim Jensen
Jim Misto
Joanne Chen
Jodi Stinebaugh
Joelle Bautista
Joem Velez
Johanna Morelli
John Nielson
Johnny Liu
Joleen Nichols
Judi Lewis
Juli Slicton
Julianne Golden
Julie Gurule
Julie Hardy Bell
Julie Park
Kam McGeary McCallan
Karen Luey
Karen Smith Cooper
Katherine Davis Zagami
Kathi Shapiro
Kathryn Patterson
Kathy Nielson
Kathy Yamamoto Harano
Katia Welding
Kellie Pfeifer-Kroplinski
Kerrie Hudzinski Lindstrom
Kerry Fong
Kim Hansard
Kim HansardJoel Ramirez
Kim Wagg
Kimie A. Good
Kristina Kearnan
Kristy Harns
Kumba Bangurah
Laura Openshaw Gonzalet
Lauren Brown Hawley
Leah Rasser
Leatrice Dosharm Garcia
Lee Nakamoto
Letty Turtle
Lex Chan
Lisa Cox
Lisa Patel
Lori Goldbeck
Lori Stevenson-Secchitano
Lorie Goldbeck
Love Tennis
Lucia Celeste
Manny Djstreak Llancs
Marci McKail-Crews
Marcia Lee
Marcus Young
Marianne Foreman
Marim Soto-Basel
Marisa Brooks
Maritza Zaparolli
Marlene A. Baird
Marsha Thompson
Mary Hugo Basuel
Mehana Thomas
Melani Apongol Montez
Meredith Pistulka
Michelle Garcia
Michelle Pelkey
Michelle Stallme-Eggers
Midnyte Black
Mike Harrison
Misty Lee
Mitsy Ikegami
Molly Oto
Monia Wong
Monica Jaime
Monica Wong
Nichol Thomas Garcia
Nick Miller
Nicole Adamo
Nicole Serrett Dummitt
Nisha Nagdev
Odette Lutge
Pamela Yelyeh Carter
Patricia Benton
Patti Maffia
Pebbie Jair
Pebbles Robinson
Peggy Rae Rae Napier
Peggy W. Woon
Penny Whitt-Leyton
Perla Hercilia Norrigan
Pete Christian
Poonam Khiyara
Prisilla Chun
Raymm Lou
Rebecca Murphy Lytle Mcguyrt
Regina Lackey
Regina Williams Clardy
Roy Gilb
Ryan Jensen
Rylee Mora
Sabrianne Goldsmith
Sabrina Malohin
Salar Major
Salena Rene Mones-Lopez
Samantha Akran
Samarie Brown-Sharp
Sara Trux
Sarah Scherzi-Zwain
Shannon Rowe
Sharol Champagne-George
Shauna McCarthy
Shawna McCarthy
Shelley Jeremy Dorland
Shelley Jeromy Dorland
Sheri Laque
Sierra Godfrey-Fong
Stephanie Caldwell-Carrithes
Stephanie Flood
Stephanie Lau
Sue Hardy Perry
Suzanne May
Sylvia Pugh-Cardinale
Tamara Green-Williams
Tammy Choi
Ted Bell
Ted Donovan
Terri Defreeze
Terry Baldwin
Theresa Fong
Theresa Milichichi-Camber
Tiffany Nugen
Tiffany Reed Carrama
Tiffany Yee
Tina Lee
Todd Nielson
Tony Alves
Tony Chew-DJ Ione
Tory Doty
Tresha God’s got my back Brumfield
Vicki Sue Ruff-Grilli
Victoria Camber-Hudson
William Lou
Yolanda Koukougron
Yolanda Soto
You Chang
Zetha Nobles-Hrf