Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, announced today that Assembly District 11’s 2016 Veteran of the Year is Stephen P. Todd, an Antioch resident whose advocacy and exemplary leadership has galvanized the East Contra Costa veterans community.
“Steve Todd truly leads by example and it’s an honor to recognize him today. After serving his country, he continues to be hands-on and support his community,” stated Frazier. “It’s a privilege to work side-by-side with Steve helping veterans in need. The world needs more people like Steve Todd and I’m extremely grateful that he is part of my community.”
Todd served in the U.S. Army and California National Guard from 1986 to 1997 and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant. His tours of duty included overseas postings to the Middle East during the First Gulf War and to Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy, and domestic deployments such as the California wildfires of 1987 and the Rodney King riots in 1992.
Following his military service, Todd was with the San Mateo Sheriff’s Department for seven years before beginning a federal law enforcement career with the U.S. Treasury Department. He later transferred to the Federal Protective Service and then became a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security. In this capacity, Todd traveled throughout the country providing protection and security in courtrooms, such as the Cary Stayner arraignment and the “Unabomber” trial; at political venues, including the Democratic National Convention; and during natural disasters, such as the San Diego wildfires in 2003 and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
He earned the rank of police captain before being medically retired in 2007, as a result of a leg injury he suffered on the job. For his heroic actions, he received the Award for Valor and has been nominated for the Department of Homeland Security “Purple Heart Medal.”
Since 2010, he has served as commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10789 in Brentwood. Under his leadership, the post supports the outreach to homeless veterans and works to connect all veterans to the benefits they have earned and the care they need. The group also supports numerous community service projects: It sponsors a Boy Scout troop, an Explorer Post and a high school Junior ROTC program; works with the Brentwood Police Activity League and Liberty High School Band; provides security details for community events, including one that traveled to Sacramento to protect the Traveling Wall memorial to Vietnam Veterans when Assemblymember Frazier sponsored its presence in 2014; and participates in numerous fund-raising ventures for veterans and community groups. The post is also a clearinghouse for donated wheelchairs and electronic scooters, which Todd himself helps to restore, and its members are currently providing labor to veterans on fixed incomes who need help with home-repair projects.
A true advocate for veterans in his District and wherever the need arises, Todd works closely with other veteran and civic organizations to make a difference in his community.
He presently serves as the Veteran of Foreign Wars Post District 10 Junior Vice-Commander, is a member of the American Legion Post 202 and the Delta Diablo Marine Corps League Det. 1155 and a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans Post 7. He is also Second Vice President of the Brentwood Lions Club.
Todd acknowledged being “excited” to be named the AD11 Veteran of the Year for 2016, but was characteristically modest about the honor. “It’s not just me – our whole VFW post does a lot of work. I’m just the commander who facilitates stuff and fields the calls. They make me look good,” he said. “Our goal is to help as many people as we can, especially the ones who don’t have money. We want to let our veterans know that there are others out there who are like-minded and still care for them.”
Todd is married and lives with his wife, Margaret, and their three children (Briana, Corina and Kenny) in Antioch. He also has two older children (April and Stephenie) from a previous marriage and five grandchildren (Briana, Dillon, Kaylen, Santiago and Nathan).
Todd was among 80 service men and women who were honored today during the California State Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee’s 9th Annual Veterans Recognition Luncheon.
Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove. To contact him, please visit his website at http://www.asmdc.org/members/a11/ or call his District Offices at 707-399-3011 or 925-513-0411. Follow Assemblyman Jim Frazier on Facebook and “Like” him for updates on events and happenings in the 11th AD.