Los Angeles Honors Chairman, Reserve-Component Troops
By Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden
American Forces Press Service
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 20, 2008 During a visit to his hometown here yesterday, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with several city employees who are reserve-component servicemembers, was honored by the Los Angeles City Council.
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen and the citizen-servicemembers were recognized for their contributions within their community and abroad with the military. Most of the servicemembers are full-time Los Angeles police officers, and all are full-time civil servants employed by the city.
“When you look at Admiral Mike Mullen, you can see what a life of service does and can produce,” City Council President Eric Garcetti said as he listed a long line of accomplishments during the chairman’s 40-year career. “They clearly live their lives to support their country and community, and that’s something that should inspire all of us.”
Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Christina Aguilera is a chaplain assistant who has served a tour in Afghanistan and another in Iraq. Her full-time job is with the city council as a scheduler for Councilman Tony Cardenas. She said giving back to her community is extremely important to her. Compared to Mullen’s 40 years in the military, working within the local community doesn’t seem like enough, she said.
“It was an honor to stand before him, knowing the position and the difficult job he has, as well as all the time he takes just to talk to troops,” Aguilera said.
Some 350,000 people from Los Angeles serve in either active duty status or in the reserve components. Los Angeles is not often thought of as a military town, but considering the number of servicemembers the city produces, it signifies the city’s dedication to a better future, Mullen said.
“I’m honored and humbled to be here with you all today,” Mullen said, noting the spirit represented by the citizen-servicemembers. “I’m encouraged by the experience, patriotism, dedication and understanding to do something beyond oneself to make a difference.”