Flags were still flown half-staff Monday at the Veterans Home of California and throughout Yountville.
The Yountville community will remember the lives of Jennifer Golick, Jennifer Gonzales, and Christine Loeber at a memorial service on Monday, March 19 at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater.
The three women were killed last week by 36-year-old Albert Wong at The Pathway Home, a veteran treatment program in Napa County. Wong was later found dead after an hours-long stand off.
“This area is the Tuscany of the United States,” said Jacqueline Stephens, who works at one of the local businesses in Yountville. “The fact that someone would do that to three mothers, daughters, sisters, friends – it just put a big hole in the community – not just at the veteran’s home.”
The tragedy comes five months after the town of nearly 3,000 residents was struck by the Northern California wildfires that burned over 240,000 acres in wine country.
“I know that we have to go to this grief, and we’re going to be sad and we’re going to be angry,” Stephens added. “I am angry at this man who thought that he could do that, and they’re always so weak that they kill themselves instead of facing the consequences.”
Over the weekend, members of the community created a makeshift memorial at The Pathway Home to remember the three victims.
Officials at The Pathway Home still haven’t said if the six residents who receive treatment in Yountville will return to the same location.
Larry Kamer, the spokesman for The Pathway Home, told ABC10 that staff and board members would announce where the patients will be housed later in the week. According to Kamer, they’re working with the California Department of Veteran Affairs to determine the future of the Pathway Home.
“I am very much in favor of the Pathway Home program helping younger veterans with the problems that they have,” said Neil Remnant, a 26-year resident at the Veterans Home. “But I don’t think this is a place for them with a population of mostly elderly and disabled veterans.”
The Pathway Home leases space at the Veterans Home, and served 450 post-9/11 veterans since 2008, Kamer explained.
“I hope that they relocate the Pathway Home, and I hope that it’s supported financially by the federal veteran’s administration,” Remnant said.
Kamer told ABC10 that Napa County mental health officials are organizing a mental health community forum on Thursday, March 22 at 6 p.m. at the Yountville Community Center.