For immediate release:
Northridge, CA – On Tuesday, July 23, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-San Fernando Valley) hosted a special ceremony and luncheon to recognize distinguished military veterans from across the San Fernando Valley. California Veterans Affairs Secretary Vito Imbasciani, who served in the U.S. Army for 27 years and is now the top state official for veterans’ issues, delivered the keynote address. The honorees—who span several generations and conflicts—were presented with special resolutions from the State Legislature recognizing their meritorious service in defense of our nation.
“It’s a privilege to be able to honor such an amazing group of veterans from across the San Fernando Valley,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel. “Many of these veterans continued to serve after they hung up the uniform—as first responders, educators, volunteers, and active members of our community. We owe them a great debt of gratitude for everything they have done—and continue to do—for the San Fernando Valley and our nation.”
“I would like to thank all who have served our country proudly and fearlessly. Veterans are the backbone of this great country and deserve to be recognized at every possible moment,” said Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary, California Department of Veterans Affairs. “It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to break bread with and honor our men and women in uniform.”
The San Fernando Valley Veterans Recognition Lunch was organized by the Office of Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel and co-hosted by Assemblymembers Luz Rivas (D-Arleta), Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys), and Laura Friedman (D-Glendale). The event was held at the Orange Grove Bistro on the campus of Cal State Northridge.
Assemblymember Gabriel honored the following veterans:
● Roscoe Frazier, of Winnetka, served in the U.S. Army for over 20 years, where he earned
five bronze stars, two purple hearts, and several other awards and decorations. During his
service, Mr. Frazier fought in some of the bloodiest and hardest-fought battles in the
Vietnam War, where he flew 479 combat assault and supply missions and earned four air
medals and an Army commendation.
● Ethel Margolin, of Canoga Park, served in the U.S. Army during WWII. Mrs. Margolin
was stationed at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, where she worked with B-24 and B-25 bomber
aircraft, and also at the Air Transport Command of the 8th Air Force in Cincinnati, Ohio.
She is an active member of “Wings Over Wendy’s”—a camaraderie group for veterans that
meets regularly at a Wendy’s Restaurant in Woodland Hills.
● Robert “Chef Bob” Gale, of Canoga Park, served in the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green
Beret) from 1967 to 1970 and was deployed to Vietnam and Cambodia. In November 1970,
Mr. Gale joined the Los Angeles Police Department, where he served in the elite
Metropolitan Division and was promoted to the rank of Captain. Mr. Gale retired from the
LAPD in 1999, and currently serves as a board member of the American Foundation for
Suicide Prevention and as a volunteer at New Friends Homeless Center in Encino and
● Dr. Daniel Stepenosky, of Calabasas, served four and a half years in the United States
Navy, where he was engaged in counter narcotics operations off the coast of South America
and in Operation Southern Watch in the Persian Gulf. He received the Naval Achievement
Medal, National Defense Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Navy Joint Meritorious
Unit Commendation, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and the Kuwaiti Liberation
Medal. Since 2012, Dr. Stepenosky has served as Superintendent of Schools for the Las
Virgenes Unified School District. He was selected as Superintendent of the Year by the
Association of California School Administrators in 2016.