Rachel Reeves

Local veteran recognized at Sacramento gathering

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Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi with Ernie O'Dell. Photo courtesy of Al Muratsuchi's office

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi with Ernie O’Dell. Photo courtesy of Al Muratsuchi’s office

Ernie O’Dell, an Army veteran who served as a Helicopter Crew Chief in the Vietnam era and who more recently resigned from an 18-year stint as the Redondo Beach city treasurer, has been recognized by the California Assembly for his contributions to the veterans’ community.

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs and whose constituency includes Redondo Beach, joined Assemblymember Rocky Chávez and Speaker John A. Pérez in presenting O’Dell with the honor at a Veterans Recognition Luncheon this week in Sacramento.

Invited were veterans from districts throughout California who had “distinguished military careers” and made “significant contributions to the community,” according to a statement issued by Muratsuchi’s Torrance office.

Former treasurer Ernie O'Dell receives a key to the city from Mayor Mike Gin after announcing his early retirement, ending a nearly 18-year career as the city's treasurer. Now, three candidates are running to fill his place. Photo by Rachel Reeves

Former treasurer Ernie O’Dell receives a key to the city from Mayor Mike Gin after announcing his early retirement, ending a nearly 18-year career as the city’s treasurer. Photo by Rachel Reeves

O’Dell was recognized for his commitment to erecting a new veterans’ memorial in Veterans Park. Together with a group of South Bay veterans, he successfully raised over a quarter of a million dollars toward the memorial’s construction.

“I was proud to honor Ernie O’Dell from Redondo Beach at this special recognition ceremony,” Muratsuchi said.

“Mr. O’Dell has made many lasting contributions to our community not only as a veteran but as a resident of the 66th Assembly District. He is most deserving of this honor.”

O’Dell retired last year to focus on his painting and on his passion for giving back to the veteran community.

Ernie O’Dell stands at his desk at City Hall after packing up his office. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

Ernie O’Dell stands at his desk at City Hall after packing up his office last year. Photo by Chelsea Sektnan

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