Salute to Veterans 2023

The Club honors our Veterans.

We are honored once again to salute our Club Member Veterans in honor of Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

To all Club Veterans, thank you for your service!

For David Buchanan: U.S. Army.

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person – unconditional love. Thank you for being my hero, best friend and Dad. I love you!”

Officer Ashley Buchanan, Airport Police

For Robert Hernandez: US Air Force, Technical Sergeant (TSGT), Aircraft Maintenance Technician, 1980-2000. Retired with 20 years of service.

“From all the guys in Central Meter and Service, we would like to thank you for your sacrifice and dedicated service. Happy birthday!”

Carlos Garcia, LADWP

“My ROTC training in high school earned me the rank of E-2. After boot camp in San Diego, I was assigned to an F-14 Tomcat Fighter (training squadron VF-124 AKA Top Gun NAS Miramar, San Diego). 

After six months of training, I was reassigned to VF-24 ‘The Renegades.’ I was promoted to Petty Officer Third Class. There, I worked on the jet aircrafts’ hydraulic systems and the airframe structures. I did two tours on the aircraft carrier USS Constellation CV-64 among the seventh fleet in the Orient and Mediterranean Sea.

“In Los Alamitos I served two tours for Troop B first squadron 18th cavalry helicopter squadron in the Army National Guard. I worked on both Bell ‘Huey’ and the Boeing AH-64 Apache’s hydraulic systems and airframe structures. Also I trained with the recon unit’s weapons and procedures with a rank of Specialist 4.”

Oscar Arce, Retired, LADWP

For Darrell Lesikar: US Army, 2009-18, Chief Warrant Officer 2.

“My wonderful friend Darrell flew Black Hawks for the US Army for more than 9 years, in numerous places across the globe. He is a loving husband and father of two. I think of him as a brother; we have been friends for more than 33 years. Love ya, and may we continue to be friends for another 33 years.”

Sarah Morton, LADWP

For Sgt. Carlos Cardoza: US Marines, E8-Master Sergeant, 25 years and 8 months, Iraq Campaign and Global War on Terrorism.

“To my brother-in-law, thank you for your service. Family and friends will always be there to keep your memory alive. God has a new mission for you.

“Thank you for service. The family and friends will miss you forever.”

Marco Hernandez, Public Works/StreetsLA

“I served in the US Navy for seven years as a photographer during the Gulf War era. Serving in the Navy gave me many things that I still carry with me today! The most important benefit I received from the Navy is my career as a crime scene and forensic photographer for the LAPD.

“To all who served, I thank you for your service! Thank you for defending our freedom. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to helping keep our country safe. God bless you, and thank you for your bravery!”

L’keva Harris, LAPD

US Marine Corps, Lance Corporal, served from 1990-96. Also served during Desert Storm.

“Manny is a car enthusiast whose hobbies include nature walks, cycling, fishing, camping and riding his motorcycle. Manny, your family loves you so much, and we are so lucky to have you in our lives. We love your sense of humor and your strength. You are our rock and our protector. We pray for your safety every day and are grateful for each additional day we get to spend with you. With lots of love, your wife.”

For Sgt. Manuel Sanchez, LAPD

US Marine Corps for six years, Delta Fourth Tanks Battalion, Iraq 2007-08.

Firefighter/Paramedic Joe Linares, LAFD

For Robert L. Rodriguez: US Army, 1965-67. Reconnaissance Scout Armored Intelligence Specialist 4; Rifleman Driver, Deuce and a Half for the C Company; 1st Armored Division, Fort Hood, Texas, 46th Infantry Regiment. Korean DMZ Conflict.

Robert Rodriguez began his service with the City of Los Angeles approximately three weeks after discharge as a Garage Attendant and Retired 35 years later as an Equipment Superintendent. “When you were called to serve your country (drafted), you did so honorably and with pride. We are very proud of you and thank you for serving. We love you, Dad! Keep up the fire!”

Geraldine Rodriguez, Retired, Public Works

For Samuel Fuentes: US Naval Reservist, Petty Officer, Second Class, 2016-present.

“Samuel, you’ve made our family so proud for being in the military and representing our family in the Navy. From graduating boot camp to being deployed overseas, thank you for serving our country pops. We love you Mijo.”

Sonia Romero-Fuentes, LADWP

For Juan Alcala: US Marine Corps, 2012-16, stationed at the Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, where he was a 3531 Motor-T operator at Marine Corps Air Station New River. Jacksonville, North Carolina.

“I want to honor, thank, and acknowledge my cousin Juan Alcala, who served our country from 2012 to 2016. Juan is from San Jose, California, and I’m so proud of his commitment to honor and serve and as the first person in our immediate family to serve, a first-generation from Mexico (Zacatecas). Juan embodies his oath to honor and serve our country and always protect the land of the free and home of the brave.”

Teresa Lara, City Attorney’s Office

US Navy, E7, Chief Petty Officer, 1962-82. Vietnam War and Cuban Crisis.

“Serving for 20 years in the U.S. Navy was the best time of my life. I have the great honor of serving and protecting our country and her citizens against all enemies at home and abroad.”

Chief Delio Jacildo, Retired, Building and Safety

For Patrick Beltran: US Army Sgt., Engineers and 453rd Chemical Battalion, 393rd Field Artillery Regiment. From June 6, 2013, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia. Operation Inherent Resolve, and more.

“My son enlisted into the US Army and was accepted on 6-6-2013. He had surprised the family by his actions. He informed us that he wanted to follow his grandfather’s footsteps into the Army.

“So far he has gone on two tours of duty. He has been on many dangerous missions into foreign countries. By his education he has trained and is a licensed and certified medical technician. He has no shortage of survival skills and has gained a tremendous amount of experience and more knowledge. He trains the new recruits who start fresh currently. And he has traveled the continental United States at many Army camps and forts for training and to train.

“The entire family is very proud. Patrick is a ‘career citizen soldier.’”

Steven Beltran, Retired,
Building and Safety

US Air Force, Captain, 1962-66, Cuban Crisis, Vietnam War.

“Proud to serve!”

Capt. Patrick Howard, Retired, Public Works/Street Maintenance

US Marine Corps, Corporal E-4, Rifleman from 1970-72, Vietnam era.

“I believe my fellow Veterans are the backbone of this country. Honor them whenever you can.”

Jim Roberts, Retired, LADWP

U.S Navy/Navy Reserve. Information System Technician, Petty Officer 3rd Class. 1988-92 active duty; 1992-18 Reserve. Operation Desert Storm.

“In 1988 after graduating from high school, I enlisted in the Navy. After bootcamp and specialized training school, I was stationed at the Long Beach Naval Station for four years. After my enlistment ended in 1992, I joined the Navy Reserves and was stationed at Seal Beach Weapons Station until the end of my enlistment in 2018.”

— Officer Trenton Whetstone, LAPD Security

For Sgt. Carlos Perez: US Army 11 Charlie/Mortar Man/Sergeant.

“Thank you for being an amazing brother and for serving our country bravely, proudly and with class. God Bless You.”

— Samuel Perez, LADWP

For Frank R. Beltran: US Army, T/Corporal, 1044-45, World War II. Liberation of the Philippine Islands, Battle of Leyte and the Liberation of Mindanao. 543rd Boat and Shore regiment, landing craft and PT boat ferry.

“Frank R. Beltran was inducted into the US Army early in 1944. He was sent for training to Fort Ord and Camp Roberts.He completed basic training and was sent overseas to the Pacific campaign immediately thereafter.

“With his engineering background he was sent to the Marshall Islands, New Guinea, Guam and to the Battle of Leyte.

“His Task Force encountered fierce Imperial Japanese forces from the Navy and air attacks. They fought days and nights without rest; many soldiers and naval crews sustained injuries during that time. They then were able to come to shore at an area known as Clark Air Base. They quickly cleared the field for our Escort carriers to launch P-47 and P-38 fighter aircraft.

“They brought into Subic Bay many new PT boats for the Navy crews waiting for the attack boats.

“After the Liberation of the Philippines and the rescue of many American POWs and civilians, they ferried them to waiting makeshift hospitals and treatment centers.

“Upon the final surrender of the last Axis forces, his regiment was sent to Amori and Sapporo, Japan.

“My father was a very humble man and did not enjoy speaking of his experiences in the Pacific. But sooner or later they came out.

“He was a mentor and the leader of our family. We all know he was a hero to us all. But he says he was not.

“His words of wisdom and experience will not be forgotten to me, my son and the rest of us.

(The photo taken at Del Valle Field, Philippines).”

— Steven J. Beltran, Retired, Building and Safety

For Elias Munoz: US Army, 2000-13, Sergeant First Class (Infantryman). Drill Sergeant, Infantry Training Brigade (ITB). Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation New Dawn. 101st Airborne Division Air Assault, 4th Striker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Currently, Assistant Chief of Environmental Management Service at VA Long Beach Healthcare System. 18 years of federal service.

“Elias is the youngest of our family. We are very proud of him and his accomplishments. His only son is now following his footsteps and due to graduate from bootcamp soon. Elias is an inspiration to many. We love you. GO Army!”

— Amelia Munoz, Retired, Mayor’s Office