SAN DIEGO–The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) will pay special tribute to the nation’s active military members and veterans at the NALEO 31st annual Conference.
Considered the nation’s annual Latino political convention, the event will take place June 26 to 28 at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego.
This year’s conference will feature more than 1,000 Latino public officials and supporters from communities across the country. Conference participants will be invited to an opening reception aboard the USS Midway on June 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. for an evening that will honor Latino contributions to our nation’s military. Selected members of the armed forces will be recognized for their leadership, dedication and unwavering commitment to the defense of our country during the event.
Reception guests will be on hand to watch as U.S. Marine Cpl. Joshua Lopez and his family are presented with a new Southern California home. While serving in Afghanistan in 2012, Cpl. Lopez was severely injured after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED). Currently, Cpl. Lopez is interning at Marine Corps Cyber Command. A special tribute will also be given to fallen Navy Cross recipient U.S. Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta and Navy Cross recipient U.S. Marine Sgt. Marco Martinez during the event.
A number of leaders from the City of San Diego will be in attendance to honor these brave individuals and address the reception audience, including County Supervisor Greg Cox, City Council President Todd Gloria, and Councilmembers David Alvarez and Lorie Zapf.
This year’s conference program will also include two sessions that will address various issues and challenges unique to military life. The first session “Supporting our Nation’s Veterans: Housing and Job Assistance” will take place on June 27 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
During the panel, experts will provide an overview of innovative strategies to better support veterans as they attempt to successfully reintegrate and become productive members of their communities. The session will be moderated by California State Assemblymember Rocky Chávez and feature Senior Vice President of American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces Sherri L. Brown, American GI Forum’s U.S. National Commander Luis A. Vazquez-Contes and Vice President of Community Impact at Valley of the Sun United Way Amy Schwabenlender.