OAKMONT, Calif. (KTXL) — A special honor was held in Roseville on Tuesday night for a Roseville marine who gave her life serving her country.
Oakmont High School hosted a dedication ceremony on the same softball field where Sgt. Nicole Gee used to play. A plaque in her honor will be placed in the library.
“We are dedicating today’s game to Nicole. She was not only an Oakmont student. She was a softball player, and now, she’s our hero,” said Nicole Juarez, event organizer.
Staff members at Oakmont High School wanted to do something special —something fitting to honor the life and legacy of Gee.
Gee died in the line of duty when bombs exploded at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan last August.
“And we immediately started reaching out to admin saying, ‘What can we do?’ We need to make this special. We need to make sure that she is never forgotten here and in our community,” Juarez said.
Juarez, a faculty member, helped organize the dedication.
“And we thought, how perfect to have it on the softball field she loved, where she spent a lot of her time when she was here. And once we reached out to the family, they got excited about it. So, we knew it was the right time,” Juarez said.
Veterans from the local Marine Corps League Detachment led the pre-game ceremony. Sgt. Gee’s relatives were on hand to receive a memorial painting and a plaque that will be permanently mounted inside the school.
“We hang it in the library so kids are always aware of the sacrifice that some of their fellow and former classmates made for them and their freedoms,” said Sondra Myles, assistant principal.
“It means a lot. She absolutely loved the school and the community and had a great time playing softball here. So to see girls here who are reflections of who Nicole was when she was that age, and them looking at Nicole as someone to look up to and someone whose footsteps that could follow, that would mean everything to Nicole. And it means everything to us,” said Misty Fuoco, Gee’s sister.
Fuoco said the family has heard from people all over the world who were moved by Gee’s dedication, courage and sacrifice.
A photo of Gee lovingly holding an Afghan baby shows the love and passion she had for service.
“It’s very inspirational because she did play on the same field we’re playing on right now,” said Olivia Ward, a Vikings softball player. “And she did sacrifice her life for all of us. And it’s an honor just to be in the same affiliation with her.”
The Oakmont Vikings got a win for Sgt. Gee, but win or lose on the softball field, they can always honor her by the way they live.
“To care for others, to be that positive light, to give back, to reach out and uplift and motivate and show love and kindness, that’s what she did in her everyday life. And that’s what she would want the world to do also,” Fuoco said.
“I feel like it’s very important because she was one of us, and she still is, no matter what,” Ward said.