Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Monterey Park’s Veterans Day Program


A colorful wreath decorated the stage in front of American Legion Post 397 in Monterey Park on November 11th.


Diego Garcia was the Master of Ceremonies. He welcomed everyone to this special event at the Legion. He introduced Leonard Ojeda who led with the Opening Prayer.


Leonard Ojeda asked God to bless all of the veterans. We are grateful for your protection. God, please help the homeless veterans. He asked God to protect all of the veterans. He asked God to protect our America.





Members of Boy Scout Troop 329 were the Color Guard and led our Pledge of Allegiance.


Diego Garcia thanked the Boy Scouts for their service at this special event. He introduced Denise Kong who would be singing our National Anthem.


Denise Kong sang our National Anthem with her beautiful voice. The crowd clapped at the end of our song.


Diego Garcia introduced the Veteran Speakers. He was the first speaker. He was a USMC veteran and President of Semperutilis.org. He enlisted in the Marines on September 17th in 2001 and served until he retired in 2005. He was very lucky to get a good job after his life in the military. He had trouble adjusting to life since he suffered from PTSD. He went to the VA Hospital but at that time they were not able to help him. He realized that many of his military friends were committing suicide or died from illness from the Burn Pits. He went back to the VA for help. They have more options to help you now. He started a group called “Always Useful” to help the homeless veterans in Los Angeles. He asked the guests to help the veterans.


Diego Garcia introduced Dennis Sandoval to the audience.


Dennis Sandoval said he was a USMC Veteran, who has lived in Monterey Park with his wife, Jenny for the last 15 years. They have two children. Today is his son’s birthday. He wished him a Happy Birthday! He always remembers Veterans Day since many of our military members never come back home to have a life. He remembers the veterans every day. They have fought and suffered for all of us.

He has tried to be a good person with a sense of humor. He honors the veterans and tries to help them get back into our civilian lives.

He sees veterans practicing citizenship. They have helped seniors at the market places helping them with their carts. The veterans are saving us from the dangers of war. His wife tries to help him. She is awesome. He had the courage to save our country. He would like to see people get along.

He thanked all of the veterans and the guests for attending this special event.


Diego Garcia thanked all of the Veterans for their service and he thanked our First Responders for their service to our community.


Diego Garcia introduced Seferino Rodriguez, a US Army and Korean War Veteran and POW to the audience.


Seferino Rodriguez has lived in Monterey Park for the last 60 years. He said he was proud to serve our county in Korea. The second time he was serving he was captured and was a POW until he was released. He was glad to serve our country. He thanked the audience.


Diego Garcia introduced the Ballet Folklorico and Mixteco of East Los Angeles to the audience.






Members of Ballet Folklorico and Mixteco of East Los Angeles performed several dances to the delight of the audience.


Diego Garcia introduced the City Council: Mayor Jose Sanchez, Mayor Pro Tem Thomas Wong, Councilmember Vinh Ngo, Councilmember Yvonne Yiu, Councilmember Henry Lo and former Mayor Mike Eng to the audience.


Mayor Jose Sanchez said it is a great day to honor our Veterans. He met Seferino Rodriguez in September at his 95th Birthday Party. They are neighbors. He thanked the Post for providing this very special event.

He said that Congressmember Judy Chu has moved the East Los Angeles Veterans Center to Corporate Center. They provide health service and job services to our veterans.

We need to help our veterans.


Council Mayor Jose Sanchez, with daughters Mia and Dolly, Mayor Pro Tem Thomas Wong, Councilmember Vinh Ngo, Councilmember Yvonne Yiu and Councilmember Henry Lo presented proclamations to Dennis Sandoval and Rocky Woo, members of the American Legion Post 397, Seferino Rodriguez and Brian Wheeler who just joined our military service. Brian’s sister accepted his proclamation.


Diego Garcia said that we should always honor our veterans every day. Please give them a hug and please give our First Responders a hug too. They are very special people in your life.


Diego Garcia introduced Jennifer Tang from Assemblymember Mike Fong’s office.


Jennifer Tang said she is here today for Mike Fong. He wanted to thank our veterans for fighting for our country. They both want to thank their families for all of their sacrifices too. She thanked all of the veterans who spoke today. We need to help you to belong to our society today.


Jennifer Tang presented proclamations to members of the City Council and members of Post 397 for having this very special event.


Diego Garcia introduced Esther Lim from Supervisor Hilda Solis’ office.


Esther Lim thanked the veterans on behalf of Hilda Solis for their service to our country. She thanked the veterans for serving our country for all of us. Many of our veterans need our help so Hilda Solis has been working in Los Angeles County to help the veterans find housing and jobs.


Esther Lim presented a proclamation to members of the City Council for having this very special event.


Diego Garcia thanked all of the speakers for attending this very special event. He asked the performers to begin with more dancing.






Members of Ballet Folklorico and Mixteco of East Los Angeles performed several dances to the delight of the audience.


Diego Garcia introduced Denise Kong to the audience for her second song.


Denise Kong sang “God Bless Our USA” to the delight of the audience.


Leonard Ojeda said the Closing Prayer. He thanked God for blessing our veterans and praying over them. So, they can walk proudly. He thanked God for praying for our nation and for keeping us safe in the name of Jesus.


All of the veterans posed for a group picture in honor of this very special event.

The Post served lunch to all of the veterans and their guests at the end of the event.

American Legion Post 397 is located at 338 Ramona Avenue in Monterey Park. For more information about the Post please call 626-692-4918.

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