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Senator Stone Announces 2018 Veterans Service Award Honorees

Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County) has announced the recipients of his 2018 Veterans Service Awards. Ten veterans — five from Southwest County and five from the Coachella Valley – were honored in ceremonies held over Memorial Day weekend in Wildomar and Desert Hot Springs.

“We had a record number of nominations and it was quite a challenge to select the 10 recipients this year,” said Senator Stone. “While I believe everyone who serves honorably in our military is worthy of special recognition, after reviewing the applications with the veterans who serve on my staff, these are the veterans who were selected for this year’s awards.”

Senator Stone’s Veterans Service Awards are based not only on military service, but on the contributions each veteran has made in their communities following their time in uniform.

The following is a list of the 2018 honorees and some of their accomplishments:


Darci Castillejos
Military Service – US Navy Chief Petty Officer (retired) — 1994 – 2016 — Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan
Community Service
Past Chairman and current 1st Vice-Chair Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce
Past president, Current Treasure Menifee Valley Community Cupboard
Past Vice-President Menifee Valley Incorporation Committee
Past Member Menifee General Plan Advisory Committee
Past President Menifee Valley Middle School PTSA
Past Chairman The Forum, coordinating volunteer activated at March ARB
President Menifee Chamber Military Affairs Committee

Donald E. Krampe
Military Service – Sgt. U.S. Marine Corps, 1950- 1952 — Korean War Veteran
Community Service
Co-founder Murrieta Veterans Memorial committee
Founder and Commandant #1057 Marine Corp League
Volunteer at Murrieta Senior Center providing information for Veterans
Served on Riverside County Department of Veterans Affairs committee||Founder and Organizer of Murrieta Patriot’s Day

Paul W. Bishop
Military Service – Lt. Colonel, USMC (retired) 1973-1993 — Operation Bear Hunt, Operation Team Spirit, participated in rescue of merchant ship “Mayaguez.”
Community Service
Initiated Marine JROTC program at Eisenhower HS in Rialto
Initiated Navy JROTC program at Pacifica HS in Garden Grove
In 2000 initiated and still runs the Navy JROTC program at Chaparral HS in Temecula
Coordinated “Trees for Troops” and “Meals for Troops” during the holidays
Member of Congressman Issa’s Academy Selection Panel

Arthur Allen
Military Service – Master Gunnery Sgt. USMC – 1986 – 2016 — Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom
Community Service
Active member Temecula Valley VFW Post 4089
City of Menifee Department of Community Services
Volunteer Docent for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Museum Foundation
At-large member Veteran’s Advisory Committee Riverside County
Volunteered at 2nd Annual North San Diego County Homeless Veterans Stand Down
Inland Valley Habitat for Humanity
Coordinated VFW 4089 effort at “Home for Our Troops” Key Ceremony

KJ Leibee
Military Service – U.S. Army 1969-1970 — Vietnam War Veteran
Community Service
Co-founded “All from the Heart” — based in Temecula — which assists veterans and military families across the region
Organizes events for veterans, including Christmas party for Camp Pendleton families
Co-founded “Wheels for Warriors” which has provided almost 450 wheelchairs to veterans in need
Supports combat veterans through his work with Veteran Equine Therapy
Member Veterans Wellness Advisory Board thru VA and Loma Linda.


Danny Richardson
Military Service – US Marine Corp. 1969 – 1989, FMR 1989 – 1999
Community Service
Youth Sports Coordinator for Idyllwild Town Hall 2004-12
Idyllwild Rotary Club 2005-present, President 2011-12 & 2014-15
Honor Guard, Color Sergeant – American Legion Post 800 Idyllwild 2007-present
American Legion, Post 800, Idyllwild from 2005-present, Commander 2010-12 & 2014-present

Javad Aghaloo
Military Service – United States Air Force and Air Force Reserve, active duty
Community Service
As a dentist he participates in missions every year providing medical services in rural areas
Founded a non-profit providing dental health care for low income families and veterans
Since 2016 treated an estimated 10,500 patients in the Coachella Valley and Imperial County

Steve Sanchez
Military Service – U.S. Marine Corps – 1996-2004
Community Service
Board of Directors for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Desert
Board of Directors for Leadership Coachella Valley
Board of Directors for Young Scholars Association
Former Board of Directors, La Quinta Chamber of Commerce
Former Chairman of the Board of Directors, Indio Chamber of Commerce
Former Co-Chair for Animal Samaritans annual fundraiser
Former participant in The Girlfriend Factors annual fundraiser

Jeff Horton
Military Service – U.S. Army 1999-2009
Community Service
VFW Post 1534 Commander
Saved Post from being closed
Volunteer at the Ca-942 JROTC Program at Cathedral City High School
Rotarian in Desert Hot Springs
Member of the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce

Christopher Paolini
Military Service – US Marine Corp 1972-1993
Community Service
Donates food and other resources to veterans groups
Helps feed the homeless and senior citizens during the holiday season.

Jeff Stone represents California’s 28th Senate District. The district, which is entirely in Riverside County, stretches from the vineyards of the Temecula Valley to the Colorado River and includes the cities of Blythe, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Murrieta, Temecula, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and Wildomar.