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For 29 years, the Veterans Park Conservancy (VPC) has worked with the local and Federal Department of Veterans Affairs to honor our military veterans by successfully preserving, protecting and enhancing the WLA VA property. VPC is guided by the goal of paying tribute to our veterans—past, present and future.

Since 2010 our mission has been focused on restoration projects that encompass promoting veterans' healing by creating environments to restore body, mind and spirit; honoring the park’s historical heritage; and are establishing a new iconic landmark—a lasting legacy—for all veterans and the City of Los Angeles. A California nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, VPC’s activities are supported entirely by private contributions from generous donors; it does not rely on any funding from the U.S. Government.


Governor Gray Davis
Captain, U S Army (Ret.)
Honorary Co-Chair

Governor Pete Wilson
1st Lieutenant, U S Marine Corps (Ret.)
Honorary Co-Chair

Click on name to see bio.

Thomas R. (Tom) Givvin, President, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
Tom Givvin is a decorated Marine veteran who, as owner of the Marina del Rey Garden Center, has been a major resource in VPC’s development of the park.

Between graduation from University of Southern California with a BA degree and being awarded an MBA from Pepperdine University, Tom went to Marine Corps Officers Candidate School in Quantico, VA, served as Second Lieutenant Rifle Platoon Commander in Vietnam and rose to the rank of Captain in the USMC.

Among his many military honors are the National Defense Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Star, Vietnam Campaign Medal with device, a Presidential Unit Citation, 1st Strike/Flight Air Medal, and Rifle and Pistol Qualification Badges.
Jerome M. (Jerry) Applebaum, Senior Vice President, Major, U S Army, Retired
Brian M. Oard, Vice President, U S Marine Corps Veteran
President, Western Region, Wilmington Trust
Victoria B. (Vickie) Murray, Secretary
Thomas R. (Tom) Peck, Chief Financial Office, U S Marine Corps Veteran
Nancy Freedman
I received a call asking to help save the back 40 acres of the VA from being developed and have never looked back, having been involved in every aspect of this effort to save the land since the 80's. During the George H. Bush administration, helicopters flew over the back 40. We learned they were surveying for a potential hotel. We stopped it. We stopped a football stadium. We have worked endlessly to see that land is not encroached on by groups, be they governmental agencies, universities, developers... I am so proud of the people associated with VPC for the strength and devotion they have for our veterans, and for their time commitment and financial backing. I served as VPC President (1995-96).

My dad and uncles served in WWII. My family has visited the cemetery in Normandy where two of my mother's cousins are buried who gave their lives in France and Germany at very young ages in that war.

Mrs. Freedman is a former member of the Blue Ribbon, Golden Key; was the 2002 Los Angeles YWCA Woman of the Year and founder of Brentwood 90049. She is currently the President of the Brentwood Community Council, and has served as a Trustee for the Brentwood School and John Thomas Dye School. In addition, she received the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship in 2006. This long-time Brentwood resident and community activist was one of the early VPC board members.

Pamela K. (Pam) Halle
Willmore F. (Bill) Holbrow, III, U S Air Force Veteran
Sandra B. (Sandy) Krause
Ms. Krause is a “Distinguished Patron of the Arts of the Los Angeles Music Center” and is a founder and event co-chair of Cedars Sinai Research for Women’s Cancers. In addition, she serves as a board member for KCET Public Television; Blue Ribbon Music Center; Coalition for Pets and Public Safety and the UCLA Foundation.

Explaining her interest in VPC: “ My father and my husband served in the armed services. I have the greatest respect and appreciation for all those men and women who chose to serve our country so that we may live in freedom.

“I joined the board of the VPC to help preserve the land that was dedicated to them and to keep it out of the hands of commercial interests,” she adds.
Gail F. Oppenheimer
Mrs. Oppenheimer is President of Feingarten Galleries and a member of the Art Dealers Association of America. She is active in the work of the Jules Stein Eye Institute and the Stein-Oppenheimer Awards at UCLA. In addition Mrs. Oppenheimer serves on the Board of Directors for the Blue Ribbon, the LACMA Costume Council, and the Diadames of the Child Care League.

Gail’s father was from California but fought in the French Ambulance Corps in 1917. He was wounded and gassed and received the Croix de Guerre. Her brother-in-law was in the Navy during WW II. Her nephew served in the Marine Corps in the Vietnam War and received a Purple Heart Medal.

“All of the men who fought for our country are heroes, and many have sustained injuries, both physical and psychological,” Ms. Oppenheimer says. “It is up to us, the civilians, to help them enjoy a decent quality of life on their return to the U.S.”

“The new Los Angeles National Veterans Park should be a beautiful, open space for their enjoyment and serenity,” she adds.
Gerald H. (Jerry) Oppenheimer, U.S. Air Force Veteran
Mr. Oppenheimer is the President of the Gerald Oppenheimer Family Foundation, a trustee of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, and a director of the Hollywood Canteen Foundation.

Just prior to World War II, Gerald Oppenheimer completed his secondary education, and then attended Curtis Wright Technical Institute. He subsequently founded an aviation components business serving defense industries like North American Aviation and Lockheed.

The need for pilot instructors was so great after Pearl Harbor that he joined the Army Air Force Training Command as a civilian flight instructor at Thunderbird Field in Arizona. Since he was not yet 21, he received a waiver to begin teaching Army Air Force Cadets. (He learned to fly when he was 17 years old.)

After two years at Thunderbird, he joined the Army Air Force as a Warrant Officer testing and ferrying planes for the Air Transport Command. After the war, he joined the active Air Force Reserve as a First Lieutenant and received regular Combat Wings instead of Service Pilot Wings.

He was recalled to serve in the Korean War and was sent to Austin Texas to fly F-84 Jets for the Strategic Air Command. The 12th Fighter Wing was sent to England and flew training missions over most of Europe. Gunnery practice was done in Tripoli.

When his outfit was returned to the U.S., he was assigned as a pilot replacement to Japan for nine months. Then he was sent to K8 in South Korea. He had flown 21 interdiction and ground combat missions.

His work for veterans includes his position as Director of the Hollywood Canteen Foundation, the group that provided entertainers who hosted servicemen and women on leave during WW II.

He has been on the Board of the Veterans Park Conservancy for more than 15 years and has been a driving force in the work to honor veterans and preserving veterans' land for their benefit.
Lee Rosen, Colonel, U S Air Force, Retired
Vice President, SpaceX
Henley L. Saltzburg
Henley is the senior partner in Saltzburg, Ray and Bergman, which specializes in commercial and real estate transactions. A native of Los Angeles, he holds both an undergraduate degree and a law degree from UCLA.

His wife Diane (Didi) has been a long time volunteer for the VPC since 1995.

According to Henley, he has watched the not always beneficial changes that have happened over the years and is been continually concerned that the Veterans Park property not fall victim to developers and other parties who would claim usage of the property for their own purposes. His offices in the Tishman Building, which gave him a bird’s eye view of the VA, enabled him to see many of those changes.

Henley’s community activities include Camp Ronald McDonald, Saint Josephs Hospital, LA Police Historical Society, Stop Cancer, and UCLA Medical Center.
Nicholas C. (Nick) Smith, U S Marine Corps Veteran

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