Salute to Veterans

The Club honors our Veterans.

We are honored to salute, for the first time, our Club Member Veterans in honor of Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

To all Club Veterans, thank you for your service!

For Ercell Murray, USAR Medical Specialist

From Sarah Richardson, LAPD

Derek Deach, LADWP, and Search and Rescue Swimmer, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, U.S.

“All gave some and some gave all. I’m very proud of the military heritage in my family. I thank every Veteran for their service, past, present and future!

“Here is a collage with my family of veterans. Me, Kimberly Ganier, Army Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom; My brother, Geoffrey Galetti, Army Vietnam; my brother-in-law, Joseph Harpel, Army 82nd Airborne; My sister, CPO Tracy Galetti Harpel, Navy; my cousin, CWO Clark R. Pedersen, Army Vietnam; and my father, Joseph Galetti, Army-Air Corps WWII.”

— Kimberly Ganier, LAPD/Communications

“My brother, Larry Dilley, was drafted for the Vietnam war. My deaf ear kept me out of the draft, although I tried three times. Larry went to Fort Ord and was stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco and Fort Hood, Tex. He was fortunate to not have gone into combat. He died young at age 59 from cancer. I still miss him every day.

“In memory of a great brother and best friend, I miss you, brother. He’s on the left.”

— From Gary Dilley, Public Works/Sanitation

“I served in the US Army from 1986 to 1997. I was Military Police. I spent seven years overseas in the German cities of Munster, Bad Hersfeld/Fulda and Hanau. I spent 90 days deployed to Hungary as part of Operation Joint Guard from July to October 1997. When I left the service I was a Staff Sergeant/E-6.

“This is a picture of me in my dress Blues, right before I separated.”

— Stephanie Burkhart, PSR, LAPD

“Sgt., Air Force Munitions Specialist, 1971, Utapio, Thailand, Vietnam War. I’m proud to have served!”

— Mike Peralta, Retired, Transportation

“Sgt. First Class Marvin C. Alexander served our country as a Korean War Vet and 20 years of service. He is a loving husband, father and grandfather. Thank you for your years of service, we salute you!”

For Army Sgt. First Class Infantryman Marvin Alexander, 1952-54

— From Doris Alexander, Los Angeles County

Sgt. Demetrio Mendoza, US Army, 1990-98, LAPD

“Thank you for your service. I love you, Daddy.”

For Javier Aldaco, US Marine Corps, 1997-2001; US Army National Guard, 2015-2018; Public Works/Sanitation and Environment

— From John Aldaco, 10, son

“Happy Veterans Day, Dad! We love you and are so proud of you. Thank you for your service.”

— For Edward Salas, Retired, LAFD, and former Sgt., US Army, 1973-77

“Thank you for your service in the Army, my dear husband, Paris R. Winkelman. We salute our Veterans!”

— From Katrina Winkelman, Retired, General Services

Five Veterans from the pages of Alive!

From July 2016
Joe Govea, First Infantry Division, US Army; Retired, Building and Safety

From July 2019
Herbert Moore, Accountant, US Army; Retired, Controller’s Office

From July 2017
Art Spaulding, 91st Chemical Mortar Battalion, US Army; Retired, CAO’s Office

From July 2020
Bill Lillenberg, US Navy; Retired, City Planning

From July 2021
Michael Bevelaqua, US Navy; Retired, Transportation

“I joined on my 18th birthday, and have to say it was the best job I ever had.”

US Army 19E Combat Tank Crewmen, Rank E-4. Cold War Veteran, 1/33rd Armor 3rd Armor Division

— Keith Smith, Airports

USMC, Iraq.

“So many years ago.”

— Edwin Rauda, LADWP

Alayna Beaver, Army MP Specialist serving in Iraq, 2008.

“Daughter Alayna enlisted in the Army at age 20 specifically to go to the front to help make a difference and serve our country.”

— Rolf Parkes, Personnel

US Navy. E-5/STG2 (SW)

“It was an honor to serve.”

— John Ahn, Airports

For Jonathon Gonzalez, Marine Corps Sgt., 2015-21. Middle East deployment. North Korea war games. Asia-Pacific tour. Duties – communications operator, water survival instructor.

“Very proud of you, son, and grateful for your service. You gave me many sleepless nights but very grateful God was always by your side, and you’re now back healthy to civilian life. May God bless your comrades and bring them home safe.

Love you — Dad.”

— Capt. II John Gonzalez, LAFD

Served in the US Navy on board USS Midway-CVA 41 during the Vietnam War era, 1973-77 as a Ships Serviceman Supply. Received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and at the Presidential Unit Citation.

“I was proud to serve my country and in many ways instilled values in me that made me the man I am today, a husband, a father and grandfather.”

— Darnell Jones, Duplication Dept.

For Taylor Tinsley, US Army as an E3 in logistics in Seoul, South Korea.

“Taylor is my loving daughter and mother to a six-year-old son. She’s studying to be a clinical social worker for abused and neglected children.”

— Erica Simpson, California Dept. of Corrections

For Elias Munoz, US Army (Infantry) 2003-13; Sergeant First Class (SFC): Kosovo 4 Rotation (K4) 2000-01; Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 2003-04; Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 2009-10.

“You joined the Army very young soon after our mother passed away. That was your promise, and you kept that promise. You have accomplished so much in your life, and your family is very proud of you. Thank you for your service and protecting our country. Proud to be an Army Sister. Love you.”

— Molly Munoz, Retired, Controller

For Maj. William Cordero Sr., US Air Force, served from 1957-65 (Vietnam, killed in action June 22, 1965).

“Forever in our hearts! Played baseball and football in high school in Santa Barbara. Wanted to be the mayor of Santa Barbara one day.”

— William Cordero, Airport Police

US Marine Corps, 1988-94; Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm

“Grateful to have served. To all my fellow veterans, Happy Veterans Day!”

— Felix Valde, Transportation

For Racine Rettig.

“When he was 21 in 1951, he was inducted into the United States Army, serving honorably in combat division in the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1953 as a Technical Sergeant with the following commendations and medals: Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal with two Bronze Services Stars, UN Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

“My Dad is 91 years old. He can still recount the experience he encountered when he was in the service. The stories are so fascinating. I love you, Dad, for your services to our country and our family.”

— Debbie Rettig, ITA

For Reymundo “Rey” Lavalle, US Navy/Marines, Navy Medic, 1975-80.

“Rey, it was a pleasure knowing and working with you during your time with the LAFD as a Firefighter/Paramedic. I learned so much about love of God, country and family from you and helping those in need! Thank you for your service then and now as a color guard volunteer for the veterans in the San Bernardino cemetery. Gracias and God bless, compadre!”

— Capt. II John Gonzalez, LAFD

For George LaFear Jr., Tech Sgt. E6, retired, Riverside Police Dept.

“As your little sister, I have admired you both while I was growing up. I couldn’t have asked for better big brothers to watch over me, and for that I salute you! Thank you for what you’ve done for our country and me.”

— Chermaine Fontenette, Public Works/Sanitation and Environment

For Rodney V. LaFear, Staff Sgt., combat infantry

“As your little sister, I have admired you both so much growing up. I couldn’t have asked for better big brothers to watch over me, and for that I salute you! Thank you for what you’ve done for our country and me.

“I’m honored to be your little sister.”

— Chermaine Fontenette, Public Works/Sanitation and Environment

US Air Force, E-5 Staff Sgt., Weapons Mechanic. Bases were Tuy Hoa and Da Nang, Vietnam.

“I would like to welcome home all the Vietnam veterans and hope you are doing well and growing old gracefully. I would also like to honor and welcome home the new veterans and honor the older veterans still with us. Lastly, I would like to honor my wife and all the spouses and parents of veterans for supporting us through these years.”

— James Dixon, Retired, Public Works/Sanitation and Environment

For the Reyes brothers: Manuel, Frank (Chito,) Roma (Ray), Margo, Jose (Tony) and Tommy. All served in World War II:

Manuel Reyes, USS Cain; Frank “Chito” Reyes, Seabees; Roman “Ray” Reyes, USS Saratoga; Margo Reyes, US Air Force in the Philippines; Jose “Tony” Reyes, 91st Infantry Division North Africa-Italy (Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart); Tommy Reyes, 76th Infantry Div., Third Army, England/France in Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany (Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart)

“I married into the Reyes Family 30 years ago this November 2021. On my husband’s and my seventh wedding anniversary, I gifted Ray (my husband) a surprise anniversary/birthday party. I invited every Reyes family member I could locate. I had the honor and privilege of personally meeting and thanking them for their service. Four of the Reyes brothers pictured attended our party. Subsequently we frequently visited and they recounted their life and military experiences. I am sure they are all happy to be together again, and I can see and hear them recounting their life and military stories and experiences with family, friends and military brothers who have gone before them.”

— Carmela Reyes, Retired, LAPD

For Joseph Vela, US Army and Navy, served in Korea and Operation Desert Storm

“I met Joe Vela and his wife when I moved to Covina in 1975 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church (OLG) in Irwindale. They were both very welcoming. From our first Sunday attending church, we have been friends since. I know Joe is very proud of his service to our country yet humble with about his accomplishments. Joe has always been an asset as a member of the Knights of Columbus and participates everywhere and anywhere the OLG church needed help along with his wife (who is now in heaven). Joe is always available to teach someone in those areas of which he knows so much due to his age and life experiences. He is a great friend to have.”

— Carmela Reyes, Retired, LAPD

For Adam Dreher, US Navy Petty Officer Second Class Machinist Mate Second Class, Oct. 2009-Sept. 2014, Iraq War.

“Thank you for serving our country, Adam. I know you made great sacrifices during your service, and I am eternally grateful and proud of you, son. Love always, — Dad.”

— Leonard Gallegos, Harbor