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July 2, 2013 > Cortez named District Veteran of the Year

Cortez named District Veteran of the Year

Submitted By Jeff Barbosa

Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) has selected Berryessa resident Tito A. Cortez as the 25th Assembly District Veteran of the Year. Cortez was honored during the 2013 Veterans Recognition Luncheon on June 26, 2013 at the Sacramento Convention Center. His wife, Arabella Cortez, and his daughter, Tiara Cortez-Miller, joined him at the ceremony.

"Tito's service to his country in the Army and his work in the social gerontology field, in the classroom and assisting other veterans, shows his commitment to improving the lives of others," Wieckowski said. "He has overcome injuries from his service in Vietnam and has demonstrated great determination in moving forward to better himself and the lives of other veterans."

Cortez served in the U.S. Army from 1967-1970. He earned a Bronze Star, National Defense Medal, Good Conduct medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and an Army Commendation Medal. After his honorable discharge, he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in social work from San Jose State University. A credentialed teacher, he has taught at San Jose City College, Evergreen Community College, the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the University of Southern California.

While attempting to receive service-connected disability compensation, he shared the same frustration many other veterans experienced with the process and eventually founded the Veterans Supportive Services Agency, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit agency in San Jose. The agency focuses on assisting veterans in living their lives with dignity and independence.

Cortez's father enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II and went on to serve in the Korean War. Tito A. Cortez and others helped establish the American Legion Northside Post 858.

The 25th Assembly District includes San Jose, Santa Clara, Milpitas, Newark and Fremont.

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