Antonio Chapa was born in Brownsville, Texas and raised in Los Angeles. After graduating from Benjamin Franklin High School, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Antonio served in the Marine Corps for eight years and stationed at numerous duty stations. During his two year tour in Iwakuni, Japan - Antonio was involved, and later elected President, in Latino Unidos a non-profit organization that assisted military and civilian communities on and off Base. Due to his tireless efforts, commitment to Marine Corps ethos and dedication to these communities, Antonio was presented the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Kurlak. Antonio’s highest rank achieved was that of Sergeant.
Three years after honorably discharging from the Marine Corps in 1999, Antonio enrolled at Pasadena City Community College. He transferred to California State University, Los Angeles and thereafter began working for a non-profit, mental health focus. Antonio continues to work for the non-profit and currently serving homeless Veterans. Antonio, to further his professional career and personal growth attended University of Southern California.
Antonio is a member of Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative, and Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Latino - Under Represented Ethnic Population (UREP) committee. Antonio is an active member of American GI Forum, and Marine Corps League. Antonio stays active by playing sports, volunteering, traveling and is a Los Angeles Dodgers fan.
Kristine Hesse served in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years as a Personnel Specialist her duties included supporting senior leadership, mentoring young Airman and managing over 20 programs on a daily basis. During her last assignment in London, UK, Hesse took the lead role to establish the newest Air Force Base working with 25 local tenants to USAF Headquarters. During her service, Hesse was stationed overseas in Japan and London, and domestically from Maine to California. In her service she received the Meritorious Service Medal, AF Commendation Medal, 2 OLC, the AF Achievement Medal, and was awarded the Noncommissioned Office of the Year Award.
Hesse retired from active duty in 2012 and completed her M.S., Professional Counseling Degree. She participated as a fellow with The Mission Continues at the National Veterans Foundation (NVF), a human service agency that provides crisis, information and resources to all veterans and their families nationwide. In her role as NVF’s Director of Women Veterans Outreach, Hesse is responsible for helping women veterans throughout the country and specifically in the Greater Los Angeles area connect to resources and each other; this connection is vital to their success in transitioning and continuing on to be leaders in the community.
She is very active in the community by volunteering within the Cities, Counties and State offices of California Military and Veteran Affairs departments. She is also connected with many non-profits and community partners that specifically work to house homeless veterans, connect them with meaningful employment and receive healthcare. She was most recently appointed as one of the Los Angeles County Military and Veterans Affairs Department Commissioners.
Hesse lives in Los Angeles, California with her Daughter and two Sons.
Dave Culmer, retired United States Marine, was appointed to the Los Angeles County Veterans Advisory Commission in 1990 to represent the 2nd District. He is currently the chairman for the National Veterans Foundation. In addition Dave Culmer is a county veteran service officer for the American Legion.
Fred Flores was appointed to the Los Angeles County, Veterans Advisory Commission in 1998 for the 3rd District. A lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans, a member of the American Legion Post 176, the Marine Corps Cryptologic Association, a founding member of the San Fernando Valley Detachment 1277 of the Marine Corps League. In 2004, Fred founded the annual San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade. Served as a key advisor to the recovery efforts after the 1994 Northridge earthquake to James Lee Witt, (then) Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Coordinating Officer, the State of California, County of Los Angeles and City of Los Angeles Office of Emergency Services assigned to that disaster.
Fred A. Flores was a Senior Staff, Communications and Community Relations Director for Congressman Howard L. Berman from 1992 to 2013. He was a community outreach counselor with New Directions for Youth from 1989 to 1992. At 17, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served honorably from 1978 to 1989. Studied at the National Crypto Logic School, where in 1988, he graduated from the Senior Military Cryptologic Supervisors Course while assigned to the National Security Agency, Ft Meade, Maryland. A 1997 graduate of the Valley Leadership Institute. In 2000, Fred received an Associate Arts degree from Los Angeles Mission College, Magna Cum Laude and in 2002, he received an Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of California Los Angeles in Communications Studies (Mass Media concentration).
In 2014, Fred A. Flores was honored by the California State Assembly, as the 2014 Veteran of the Year for the 39th Assembly District.
Ramon Rodriguez has been a commissioner for the Los Angeles County, Veterans Advisory Commission since 2003. He represents the Fourth Supervisorial District.
Ramon served the United States Army for 23 years, receiving the Silver Star with Two oak-Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star with “V” Device and Two Oak-Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart with Four Oak-Leaf Clusters.
Ramon received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from the Columbia College.
Carvel Gay was appointed to the Los Angeles County Veterans’ Advisory Commission in 2002 by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich to represent the 5th District.
A resident of Glendale, Mr. Gay has been a member of the California Army National Guard for over 17 years and has twice been awarded the California Commendation Medal. He was also awarded the Enlisted Excellence Ribbon, the Army Superior Unit Award and the National Defense Service Medal. Mr. Gay was presented with a commendation for outstanding response and exemplary service during the Northridge Earthquake in1996.
He has served on the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Glendale Tournament of Roses Float Association, the Glendale Parks and Recreation Commission and the City of Glendale’s Traffic, Transportation and Parking Commission. Mr. Gray has also served as the Chairman of the Citizenship and Patriotism Committee and the Chairman of the Bob Bartl Memorial Scholarship Award.
With a long career in Manufacturing Engineering / Aero Space, Gary Chapman retired from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in 2008 after 26 years. Chapman worked in the Space Shuttle Main Engine program and was involved with the Veterans Task Force and Honor Guard. He served in the United States Army for 3 years active duty with one tour in Vietnam. Just as his father before him, Gary received a Purple Heart from a gunshot wound and numerous Air Medals, one with "V" for Valor. He founded the “Operation Welcome Home” Veteran’s Day Parade in 2006. Funds in the amount of over $10,000 from the parade were donated to the "Pete Knight" Veterans Home. This poignant and moving parade was the first Veterans Day Parade in the Antelope Valley and the first time many Vietnam Vets were finally welcomed home. Walking on rose petals down Lancaster Blvd. there were few dry eyes at the beginning of his healing parade. He subsequently helped organize the 2009 Antelope Valley Veterans Day Parade. Chapman currently rides his Harley Davidson Motorcycle with the Patriot Guard for "Welcome Home" events for our soldiers coming home, and for the departed.
Chapman attended AV College and Pierce College and well as taking continuous technical courses from Boeing-Rocketdyne Division.
His father, Howard Chapman, served in WWII and received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Chapman’s father-in-law, Dr. Bram van der Stok, was a highly decorated WWII Spitfire pilot, whose successful escape from P.O.W. camp, Stalag Luft III was depicted in a movie entitled “The Great Escape”.