Home » Santa Clarita News » Letter To The Editor » Former American Legion Commander Endorses Fred Arnold For COC Board — JD Kennedy — October 25, 2020
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Former American Legion Commander Endorses Fred Arnold For COC Board — JD Kennedy — October 25, 2020

In a letter to the editor, former American Legion Commander, JD Kennedy, endorsed Fred Arnold for the College of the Canyons Board.

By: JD Kennedy

Fred Arnold has a long list of qualifications making him a valuable asset to College of the Canyons and to the community at large. He’s a successful business owner who’s dedicated himself to helping people qualify for and access funding for their homes.

He’s served as chair of the SCV Chamber, on the OLPH School Board and the California Association of Mortgage Brokers. The list goes on and on and is included on his campaign website. What you may not know, and isn’t listed there, is Fred’s passion and history of supporting local veterans and deployed active duty members.

I’ve known Fred since March of 2010; I had just accepted a position with Congressman McKeon as his Veterans Affairs Field Representative. I had been in Washington for the onboarding process for new hires while, unbeknownst to me, Ian Gelig’s family had been struck with the news that Sgt. Gelig had been killed in action with an IED in Afghanistan.

Wanting to ensure the community stepped up to support the family and honor our local fallen soldier, Fred made a few calls. He discovered that no plans outside the standard protocols had been arranged. He immediately sprang into action, notifying school principals, fire captains, HOAs, and anybody he could hand a flyer to. Those of us who were in Santa Clarita in March, 2010 remember the scene.

Thousands of patriots lined the streets while Sgt. Ian Gelig made his final passage through the SCV. The next week, Congressman McKeon asked me to deliver a certificate of Congressional Recognition to Fred and to express his gratitude for helping to honor Sgt. Gelig. That’s when I got to meet Fred for the first time.

Fred and I would work together over the next few weeks with many community leaders, Supervisor Antonovich’s office, the American Legion, VFW and Patriot Guard Riders to assemble a plan in the case that we ever needed to replicate Fred’s work after losing another member of the armed forces.

Unfortunately, we would have to put it into action twice more over the next couple years in order to honor Jake Suter and Rudy Acosta. Both times, Fred was there, ready to do anything necessary to support the families and honor their sons.

Over that same course of time, I was serving as the Commander of the Newhall American Legion. Fred signed up as a member and while I was there, he was among the top financial contributors to our programs. With Fred’s support, we formed veteran scholarships for students attending COC, he hosted care packaging events for deployed active duty members at his office, he helped to plan and donated to the Vietnam Wall celebration and the Armed Forces Day Celebration.

I could go on and on, but this endorsement is already too long. The bottom line is that Fred’s passion for community service and his love for our Veterans is unparalleled. I urge all Veterans, active duty, reserve and their family members to vote for Fred Arnold for the College of the Canyons College Board. You won’t regret it.

JD Kennedy

Past Commander, Newhall American Legion

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Former American Legion Commander Endorses Fred Arnold For COC Board — JD Kennedy — October 25, 2020

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