November 11, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON -  Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu honors the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes on Veteran’s Day. This past weekend, Congressman Lieu hosted his annual “Conversations with Veterans” Event virtually, inviting local veterans to share their stories with the public.  Watch the event here. 

“Today and every day I am eternally grateful for our nation’s veterans,” Rep. Lieu said. “Every year, I host a Conversations With Veterans event as a chance to highlight veterans’ stories and create a greater understanding of military service in our community. Like so many other events this year, we changed the format to an online forum. I was heartened to see so many people participate and share their connections to service in the comments. Some of the reflections we heard from veterans were solemn, some were funny, some were touching; but all were emblematic of the courage and character necessary to serve in our nation’s Armed Forces. I’d like to share a few of these stories:” 

Nicholas Cormier III, Air Force: 

“What I learned from my time serving, is that committing to something bigger than myself, with sacrifice and selflessness as a guiding force, comes with a price. But pays dividends not only for those the sacrifice is for, but also for me.” 

Brandon Childers, Marines: 
“Time after trauma is stressful, but by sharing these stories together and learning from each other, it doesn’t have to be disabling. We spend 4 years in bootcamp, training for 4 years in a unique culture, and then we get 4 days to learn how to write a resume and tie a tie. I know that we can do better to help our vets before they make it to these homeless shelters. It’s difficult to share [these] stories, but it’s also difficult to keep them bottled up. The connections I share with people like Captain Denny and Corporal Bailey - and now the members of this Zoom call - help to remind me what it was for, even on the hardest of days.” 
Paul Townsend, Army: 

“The Army has changed my life. The training, the skill, the people I come in contact with on a daily basis here at New Directions have given me a chance to do better for myself.” 

Joshua Park, Navy: 

“I’m originally from South Korea, and thanks to all the veterans who’ve served. You guys are the reason why I’m here today. I came to the U.S. at the age of 16 and my parents adopted me with prayers that their son would make this world a better place for others. And I was 21 years old when I joined the Navy and I was eagerly looking for what I was supposed to do with my life and I chose the Navy.” 

“...One day, I decided to ask my shipmates what they would do if they won a lottery worth of millions of dollars. I mostly got answers back with big houses, nice cars, and luxurious yachts. At night, I asked [my shipmate] Popula what he would do if he won a lottery, and he replied with an exhausted voice from a long day of working, ‘I'd start up a company.’ This wasn't the answer I was expecting, and I asked, ‘Why? You don't have to work anymore with that much of money.’ He answered, and his next words were embedded to my heart. Popula said, ‘So I can make jobs for those who need jobs. People can work at my company, and they can provide food for their family, and they can pay for their kid's school, and they can pay for their medical insurance. I would start up a company if I had that much of money.’ Before I had that conversation with Popula, I did not fully understand what entrepreneurship was. I heard about it in Economics class, but it was just a word with meaning of making profit. Since then, I have one goal and one goal only. I devote my passion and talent to build a company so I can make jobs for those who need jobs. To me it was a turning point of my life.”