The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Douglas Herman
The Strategy Group


IRVINE, Calif.–The Veterans Alliance of Orange County (VALOR), a non-profit led by some of Orange County’s most distinguished Veterans, is pleased to announce a partnership with FivePoint to support the delivery of the Southern California Veterans Memorial Park.

FivePoint, through its partnership (Heritage Fields El Toro, LLC), has already agreed to exchange 125 acres of land at the former Marine Corp Air Station El Toro with the City of Irvine. The land then would be transferred to the State of California for the construction of the Veterans Cemetery. In addition, FivePoint’s partnership will provide a $10 million contribution for the construction of the site and has now further agreed to financially support the campaign launched by VALOR to educate the community on the truth behind the Veterans Cemetery and the June 5, 2018 vote on Measure B occurring in the City of Irvine.

The VALOR Board of Directors has unanimously taken a position of support for Measure B, which will insure that a Veterans Cemetery at the Great Park will be built if approved by a majority of Irvine voters.

VALOR’s board is made up of a diverse group of Orange County Veteran leaders from many branches of the military and many different time periods of service.  They include:

  • Robin Umberg, former U.S. Army Brigadier General
  • Nick Berardino, former U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and President of VALOR
  • Bill Cook, former U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Chairman of the Orange County Veterans Memorial Park Foundation
  • Bobby McDonald, a U.S. Navy Veteran, President of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Orange County and winner of the 2016 Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year
  • Steven Spriggs,  a U.S. Army Veteran active in The American Legion and VFW organizations
  • Jim Torres, a U.S. Army Veteran and State Senior Vice Commander of Disabled American Veterans

VALOR President Nick Berardino said, “In addition to widespread support from veterans, Measure B has broad community backing from leaders in both the local Democratic and Republican parties. Measure B brings a veteran’s cemetery to Irvine, away from homes, without costing Irvine taxpayers a dime and without adding any new traffic or development that hasn’t already been planned. Be warned that the cemetery opponents will spare no trick or political charade in their efforts to deny veterans a place to rest.”

“VALOR is proud to join with FivePoint to educate the public on the truth and to urge them to honor our veterans by voting yes on Measure B on June 5,” Berardino continued, “On behalf of my brothers who never made it home, God Bless those who continue fighting for this Cemetery.”

Emile Haddad, CEO of FivePoint, agreed with Berardino saying, “Our veterans have been used as political pawns by politicians every election cycle. We are honored to stand alongside VALOR and all of the Veterans of Orange County to get this Cemetery built once and for all.”

On June 5, 2018, the voters of the City of Irvine will have a chance to vote on Measure B and approve a land exchange, which will build the Veterans Cemetery at the city-selected and state-approved “Strawberry Field” site prominently located at the Orange County Great Park on the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. The site is located near the intersection of the 405 and 5 freeways.

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