Assemblyman honors author of 'The Boys of Del Valle Park'
Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) recently honored Lakewood resident Dennis Lander (on right in photo) as the 2015 Veteran of the Year for the 63rd Assembly District. “Dennis not only served our country heroically in Vietnam but has been a leading advocate for remembering the sacrifices of our fallen troops,” Rendon said in Sacramento on June 24. “Dennis is a treasure of our community and I am proud to honor him as Veteran of the Year."
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Lander is author of “The Boys of Del Valle Park,” a poem about the young Lakewood men who gave their lives in the armed forces during the Vietnam War. The poem gained popularity when it was published in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on Memorial Day 1988 and is now recited annually during Lakewood’s Memorial Day ceremony and is permanently inscribed on the city’s veterans memorial at Del Valle Park.
A lifelong resident of Lakewood, Lander enlisted in the U.S. Air Force shortly after graduation from Lakewood High School in 1966. From 1967 to 1968, he served in Vietnam as a member of the 8th Aerial Port Squadron’s Mobility Team, which flew C-130s and was responsible for the resupply of military units throughout South Vietnam. After his discharge from the Air Force in 1969, Mr. Lander returned home to Lakewood and had a career in the moving and waste management industries.
Assemblyman Anthony Rendon is serving in his second term representing a district that includes the communities of Bell, Cudahy, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, North Long Beach, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount and South Gate. He is chair of the Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce.
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