We Salute Our Heroes: Conversations with Veterans

We Salute Our Heroes: Conversations with Veterans
Filed in: Event, Member Alert

In preparation for the Homeless Heroes Walk taking place on November 17, SAG-AFTRA member and veteran Jon Huertas sat down with veteran Sean Anthony Kaleialoha Nereu to discuss their experiences. 

Conversation between Jon Huertas and Sean Anthony Kaleialoha Nereu 

Moderator: Kaleialoha, why don’t you introduce yourself first?

Kaleialoha: I got involved because I am LE with the United Way right now — I am basically a Loaned Executive, and their mission of ending homelessness really resonated with me. So, I wanted to make sure that I was involved in anything I could do to help anybody out.

Jon: Very cool, I got involved because I’m on the [Los Angeles Local] Board of Directors for SAG-AFTRA and almost two years ago we started a task force to help support veterans and their families and got involved in the Joining Forces campaign and the Got Your 6 campaign — we are always trying to figure out ways to align ourselves and lend our support any way we can to any kind of veteran issues and get our members involved and get our members to help support and give back to veterans.

Moderator: For both of you, where did you serve? And did you come from families of service men and women or were you the first?

Kaleialoha: My grandfather served, but in Indonesia, where he was born. And when they immigrated to the United States in the ’60s, my uncle served in the Marine Corps and then my aunt served in the Army, so I have that side of it, but I am really the first American citizen to serve in the military.

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In preparation for the Homeless Heroes Walk taking place on November 17, SAG-AFTRA member and veteran Mark Valley sat down with 102 year old veteran Bea Cohen to discuss her life of service.

Conversation between Mark Valley and Bea Cohen

Mark: Hi, Bea?

Bea: Hi, that’s me!

Mark: I’m Mark Valley. I’m an actor and I’m going to ask you some questions about your life.

Bea: Ok, he wants to hear about my life!

Mark: I am a veteran as well.

Bea: Where were you stationed?

Mark: I went to West Point.

Bea: Oh, I’m sorry; I wish I could salute you! Just a private, private first class.

Mark: You were a private first class?

Bea: But I gave orders.

Mark: You did give orders? I always found that the people who knew what they were doing ended up being in charge somehow.

Bea: Where were you stationed after that?

Mark: After that I was stationed briefly in Virginia and then I went to Germany and it was just around the time when the Wall was coming down.

Bea: Ah, ok. At that time I was in England. I got there on D-Day, Normandy Invasion.

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