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May 22, 2009
federal Asian Pacific American Council. He is a veteran of make seven martial arts movies before finding his true calling
Operation Desert Shield, the Kosovo Conflict, Operation – the chaplaincy. Committed to the Christian faith since 1989,
Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. in 2002 he earned a master’s degree in Christian psychology
Capt. Elizabeth Pham – As if
and four other degrees, including bachelor of theology and is
being a high school valedictorian
Richard Kong, Chief Boatswain’s now national assistant chaplain for the First Batallion Fourth
and college honors graduate were
Mate (Ret.) – The product of three Marines and Disabled American Veterans.
not enough, Elizabeth Pham chose a
wars, he was born into World War II in
quite unusual career route for a
China and lived through two more, Chaplain Karl K Fung –
young Vietnamese woman – U.S.
Korea and Vietnam, before he retired Commissioned as lieutenant in the
fighter pilot. After initial flight
in 1975 after a distinguished career. Naval Revere in 1984, Chaplain Fung
training at the Naval Air Station in
Not too long after he emigrated to the was called up during the First Gulf
Pensacola, Fla., she was selected to
U.S., he enlisted, at the age of 18, and War to serve with the Marines in
participate in one of the first “total
served in the Korean War. Fluent in Operation Desert Storm. Shortly after
syllabus” jet curriculum classes and
Cantonese, he serves as translator for the war, he received a special com-
became the first Asian to become a Fixed Wing Naval Aviator
the commander of the Seventh Fleet and later took part in the mendation from the Mayor of San
and was later deployed to Iraq, becoming part of the first all-
decisive battle of the Pusan Perimeter, sweeping the harbor of Diego for his contribution to drug
female F/A-18 aircrew and flying over 130 combat missions.
mines. He also served in Vietnam, earned medals and, along abuse reduction. Besides known asa
In 2008, she served a second tour in Iraq, racking up a total of
with them, the highest non-commissioned rank in the Navy, dynamic speaker, he is the first
1,000 mishap-free flight hours in the F/A-18.
that of chief boatswain’s mate, becoming the only Chinese Chinese-American to obtain the rank of Captain in the Navy
American to attain that rank. Chaplain Corps. During the Second Gulf War in 2003, he was
Senior Chief Eduardo M. Din –
deployed with the Marines again on Operation Iraqi Freedom
Born in the Philippines, Storekeeper
Lt. Col. Somport Jongwatana – and provided much-needed ministry in the battlefield as they
Din started school there and upon fin-
Born in Thailand, raised in an orphanage pushed from Kuwait to Baghdad.
ishing a year in college, enlisted in
and adopted by a U.S. military family,
the U.S. Navy in January 1972. His
Somport Jongwatana has devoted his Dr. Eleanor Concepcion Mariano
first ship was the USS Turner Joy
life to the military to pay back the is the first Filipino-American to reach
(DD-951), which saw duty in
chance so many others never got. He the rank of Rear Admiral in the United
Vietnam. His next assignment was
graduated with honors from the College States Navy, the first graduate of the
Sasebo, Japan, followed by Subic
of William and Mary, earning a commis- Uniformed Services University of
Bay, Philippines, for two years. Chief
sion as a second lieutenant in 1989, Medicine to reach flag officer status
Din went on to serve aboard the USS
going on to serve in a variety of intelligence assignments, and the first woman to be the director
Nimitz, USS Dewey and USS Wisconsin, which saw action
beginning with the 82nd Airborne Division in Ft. Bragg, North of the White House Medical Unit.
during the Persian Gulf War, finally transferring to Naval
Carolina. Col. Jongwatana has served in a variety of assign- After graduating with cum laude hon-
Recruit Depot Michigan, where he finished his active duty
ments, most recently in charge of the U.S. Army Recruiting ors from UCSD, she joined the Navy in
Battalion Los Angeles in Encino. His decorations include the 1977, earning a medical degree and was nominated to the rank
Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign of Rear Admiral by President Bill Clinton, eventually serving
Capt. Myles Esmele – Since being
Ribbon. as White House Physician for both Presidents Clinton and
assigned to the Space and Warfare
George W. Bush. Dr. Mariano changed the way the president's
Systems Command (SPAWAR) in
Chaplain Francisco Balolong health care is delivered by instituting mandated 24-hour cover-
2005, Capt. Esmele has led the Navy’s
Paras Jr. – Boxer, wrestler, football age from White House physicians before retiring in 2001.
integration into the largest enterprise
player, martial arts expert and movie
system in the United States, known as
star, “my first objective is serving God. Cpl. Christopher Shozaki Din* – Born into a military
DIMHRS, the Defense Integrated
My second objective is to volunteer my family, Christopher joined the Marines in December 2003, after
Manpower and Human Resource
service as chaplain for all the military attending UC-Riverside, attended boot camp at MCRD San
System. He has mentored many mili-
services,” says Chaplain Paras, an Diego and was assigned to attend Marine Combat Training at
tary and civilian work force members
ordained minister. Paras was stationed Camp Pendleton, California. Christopher trained for his mili-
who were accepted into commissioned
at the Subic Bay Naval Base in the tary occupational specialty in 29 Palms, California, and on
officer programs. Serving as senior vice president of the
Philippines, serving with the Marine Sept. 22, 2007, had his first deployment in Al Anbar Province
Filipino Military Officers Association, Esmele has reshaped
Corps, when he received the Presidential United States Marine in Iraq. He is now finishing off his contract as a Reservist.
that organization’s vision to include all Asian Pacific American
Corps Physical Fitness Award for his all-around athletic
officers and laying the groundwork two years ago for the first
achievements. While stationed in the Philippines, he went on to *Photo is unavailable.
Casey Tanaka – He was
work with city departments and officials, outside governmen-
elected mayor in 2008 after being tal agencies and the public concerning legislative items in a
councilmember from 2002 to Environmental Commission to deal with quality of life issues, deadline-driven context, and in constant collaboration with
2008. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, initiated a summer science program for low-income students, many of the city’s departments and offices, including the
Tanaka moved to Coronado in enhanced after school programs, organized the city’s Clean Office of the City Clerk and the Office of the Chief
1983. After graduating from Up the City Day, facilitated the city’s first workshop for home Legislative Analyst. She has also served as technical advisor
Coronado High School in 1994, care workers and founded numerous scholarship opportunities for the legislative process and interpreter of the City Charter
he attended UC San Diego where for high school students. and Administrative Code and other city documents.
he received a bachelor of arts Previously, she served six years in the City Clerk’s Office as
degree with distinction in history Henry Charoen – On Budget and Finance Committee Clerk and as Acting Division
and a minor in political science. November 2006, Gorpat Henry Head for the Clerk’s Council and Public Services Division,
Since 1999, Tanaka has been Charoen became the first and responsible for managing the entire division and its legislative
teaching U.S .History and U.S. Government at his Alma only U.S. elected official of Thai operations.
Mater, Coronado High School. Tanaka's interest in local gov- descent. He was elected to the
ernment is due in part to his interest in history. He credits his La Palma City Council in *Photo for June Lagmay was unavailable.
reading and research of historical figures and presidents as California. Then on December
sparking his own interest in participating in local government. 2007, Charoen became the first
Being a high school teacher and the Chairperson for Mayor of Thai descent in the
Coronado High School's History Department, Tanaka has a U.S. Charoen was born in
special interest in schools and youth Thailand and settled in Orange
County. His community involvement includes being on the
Mike Eng – Assemblymember Community Activities and Beautification Committee and a
Mike Eng represents the 49th member of the Kiwanis Club of La Palma and La Palma Days
Assembly District, which is locat- Planning Committee. As a Business Consultant and with a
ed within eastern Los Angeles background as a Business Analyst in the mortgage industry,
County. His top legislative priori- he understands the importance of preserving strong property
ties include addressing values. He is dedicated to serving his citizens in maintaining
California’s transportation infra- a superior quality of life and is passionate about protecting
structure needs, “green” job cre- the community he serves.
ation, tackling the underground
economy by going after tax June Lagmay* – June Lagmay possesses 28 years experi-
Vote Here
cheats, eliminating health dispari- ence with the City of Los Angeles. For the majority of those
ties among underserved communities and confronting the years she worked on staff for three consecutive Los Angeles
growing problem of hates crimes in California and the rest of Mayors. She also has experience in the legislative branch of on full ballot
the nation. He also served as Mayor and City Councilmember the City, having worked four years in a Council office and six
of Monterey Park, where he helped start the region’s first city years in the City Clerk’s Offices. Her post has required close
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