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WHITTIER : Ex-Engineer Again Will Lead Veterans' Group

August 25, 1994|JOHN D. WAGNER

A local retired aerospace engineer has been chosen for the second time to lead a national 100,000-member organization of Latino veterans.

Jake I. Alarid, 60, was elected national commander of the American GI Forum of the United States at the organization's recent convention in Santa Clara. A forum member for 24 years, Alarid previously served as national commander in 1983-84.

Alarid was an engineering manager at Rockwell International Corp. before retiring earlier this year.

He joined the forum in 1970 during the Vietnam War after noticing that Latino veterans were having problems receiving benefits. "Some were sick or wounded and were not receiving any benefits at all," said Alarid, who served in the Korean War. Alarid became a local chapter chairman in 1972 and served as state chairman in 1980.

The organization, founded in 1948 in Corpus Christi, Tex., counsels veterans and lobbies on issues such as immigrants' rights and universal health care.

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