“I was thinking of a way to have a visual reminder of Johnnie and Brandon,” said Cpl. Jennifer Garcia, 31. After searching the Internet and talking with her mother, Garcia thought a yellow ribbon would be appropriate since it symbolizes the safe return of a loved one. She approached Police Chief Garry Couso-Vasquez after designing the pin, which includes the officers’ I.D./badge numbers. “I thought it was a perfect way to honor these two fine young men,” Couso-Vasquez said. “They served us here and now are serving the entire country.” The pin is now a part of every uniform, placed on the right breast-pocket. “They are like my little brothers,” said Garcia, who was Contreras’ training officer. When she told Contreras about the pin in an email, he was surprised. “They didn’t realize how much they mean to all of us in the department, especially since they’ve been here only nine months,” Garcia said. Couso-Vasquez presented a pin to each Councilmember at Wednesday night’s meeting. He also played a message received Sept. 3 from the young men. “We’re heading out today for Iraq, and I wanted to thank you for all your support,” Contreras said. “See you when we get back.” Couso-Vasquez said he chokes up when he hears it. “A year is a long time to be away, but we will remember them, and the pin is one way we can do that,” he said. The Montebello Police Officers Association paid for each of the pins worn by the department’s personnel. The remainder of the pins are being sold for $2.50 each with all proceeds to go to the association’s benevolent fund. To purchase a pin, send email to Cpl. Garcia at [email protected] [email protected] 562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MONTEBELLO – Longtime friends Johnnie Paxton and Brandon Contreras have gone through life sharing many milestones. Born three months apart, they celebrate birthdays, graduated from Schurr High School, joined the Montebello Police Explorers, went through the police academy and are police officers in the Montebello Police Department. And in May, the two army reservists, both 27, were called up to serve in Iraq. Beginning this week, their colleagues at the Police Department, both in uniform and civilians, are wearing a yellow ribbon to remember them while they are gone.