The City of Hawthorne has formed a Veterans Affairs Commission, which is chartered to support all veterans by fostering support and participation in related activities within the Hawthorne and South Bay community. This commission is comprised of five residents appointed by the City.
The Commission develops relationships with local Veterans Service Organizations, appointed and elected officials, and the general populous as they determine the veteran constituency within city boundaries.
Longer term plans include supporting veterans through medical, counseling, employment and housing challenges, as well as developing a communications approach to create public support to help veterans.
The commission meets regularly on the first and third Monday at 3:15pm in City Council Chambers. Meeting dates/time are posted on the City calendar which can be viewed HERE
Kyle Orlemann, Chair
Kyle has served on the Commission since its inception, and as Chair since 2018. She became involved in Veterans' issues after her husband, Jerry, became disabled as a consequence of his fourteen years of Service in the U.S. Army (1969-1982). As a full-time Caregiver, Kyle has become acutely aware of the challenges faced by Military and Veteran families. She is involved with numerous advocacy groups, including the L.A. Veterans Collaborative (Legal and Re-entry Working Group), and attends regular meetings of the County of Los Angeles Veterans Advisory Commission.
Kyle has been heavily involved in the ongoing Master Plan process to rejuvenate the 388-acre West L.A. V.A. Medical Center (WLA VAMC), which will include the addition of 1200+ units of Veteran housing. She has led the efforts to add a Service Dog Training program to the property, and to provide for the needs of companion animals living with Veterans on the campus. She has also advocated for the inclusion of family members and caregivers into all aspects of Veterans care. She participates in the Veterans' Patient Advocacy Committee, and regular briefings on the progress of the Master Plan. She has also testified before Federal Oversight Boards on these issues.
Kyle is a Life Member of the VFW Post 2075 Auxiliary. She and her husband are Life Members in Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) South Bay Chapter 53 and its Associates (AVVA). Kyle is the Chapter's VVA/AVVA Liaison, while Jerry serves as Southern District Director for the CA State Council. Both serve as Delegates to VVA/AVVA State and National Conventions.
Ken Lester, Commissioner
Ken Lester has been a commissioner for the City of Hawthorne, Veterans Affairs Commission since December 2014. Ken retired from the United States Air Force as a Master Sergeant in 2000. Ken served in the United States Army for 4 years and the United States Air Force for 20 years, with a combined total of 24 years of dedicated service to our country. Ken has always been concerned of veteran’s issues and the desire to assist and serve to better veterans.
Anabela Moreno, Commissioner
Anabela Moreno was appointed commissioner in July 2018 to the Hawthorne Veterans Affairs Commission. She has served in the U.S. Army from 2000 – 2005 and the U.S. Army Reserve from 2005 – 2008. As a South bay native with military experience, she has been involved with local veteran’s issues in her community.
Jim Robilotta, Commissioner
Jim joined the Veteran's Affairs Commission in 2018 soon after relocating to Hawthorne. He served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force for 28 years (1977-2005) retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He grew up in the Air Force as his father was 20 year veteran. Jim taught Air Force Junior ROTC in local high schools for 6 years. With this background Jim has become very interested in veteran's issues.
Carol Steinhauer, Commissioner
Carol is the wife of deceased Korean War Veteran and a member and officer of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 2075 in Hawthorne. She has been a Hawthorne resident for 56 years.
Carol graduated from CSU Long Beach with a BA degree in Geography and received her MA in Education Administration from CSU Dominguez Hills.