LOS ANGELES - When our veterans come home after serving our country, they deserve gratitude and respect, and most of the time all they want is to give back to their communities. In this episode of Eye on L.A. we show exactly why veterans make some of the best employees, and we shine a spotlight on some of our incredible veteran-owned businesses that you're going to want to try.
Battleship USS Iowa
Come aboard the USS Iowa in the port of Los Angeles and see for yourself the only battleship on display in the continental west coast! This museum memorial attraction allows visitors to learn all about the Iowa's years of active service, including her time in WWII, the Korean War and the Cold War. Download the app and enjoy a guided tour as well as virtual reality applications such as hearing from President Roosevelt himself, who spent several days aboard the ship traveling across the Atlantic in 1943. This is an attraction you won't want to miss! http://www.pacificbattleship.com/
4th and Olive
Owned and operated by disabled vet Dan Tapia, 4th and Olive in downtown Long Beach is a French bistro offering delicious food and a space for veterans of varying abilities and disabilities to work and thrive. Specializing in Alsace cuisine, a mixture of French and German ingredients, 4th and Olive pairs it with California produce to create mouthwatering dishes like the spinach and asparagus salad and the pork chop with cipollini onion and apple. It's a great way to enjoy some extraordinary food while supporting veterans! http://www.4thandolive.com/home.html
Walk into the World War II Store in Old Torrance and you'll immediately be transported back in time. This unique, veteran-owned store is like a museum where you can not only interact with history, but you can purchase it and take it home with you. More than 250,000 pieces of military memorabilia are housed here, including uniforms, books, letters, pins, patches, medals and other unique mementos. You can also rent full military uniforms here and sell your own pieces of history as well. This is a must-see for veterans and history buffs alike! http://www.wwiistore.com/
Gina Elise's Pin-Ups for Vets
The nonprofit organization Pin-Ups for Vets produces World War II-inspired pin-up calendars to raise funds for their goodwill initiatives. To date, Pin-Ups for Vets has donated over $50,000 in rehabilitation equipment to VA and military hospitals. Other initiatives include morale-building makeovers for military wives and service women, and a 50-state VA tour where pin-ups visit hospitalized veterans, many of whom get very few visitors. Visit the Pin-Ups for Vets website to shop their store, to donate, or if you're a military wife or service woman interested in a pin-up makeover. http://www.pinupsforvets.com/
For more on Pin-Ups for Vets photographer Tim Sabatino(Navy), visit: http://www.timsabatino.com/
Veterans in Film and Television
Veterans in Film and Television is a non-profit organization with over 3,000 veterans of the Army, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Navy who are working in the arts and entertainment industry. The VFT offers several networking opportunities designed to help vets get internships, mentorships and jobs within the industry, partnering with companies such as ABC/Disney, Lionsgate and Grindstone, and has a high success rate in finding entertainment jobs for veterans. If you're a veteran working in the entertainment industry who would like to join the VFT, or if you're in the industry and are interested in hiring veterans, visit: http://www.vftla.org/
Named after the United States Marines Corps 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, a.k.a. "Magnificent Bastards," this Downey restaurant aims to respect and care for those who have served. Established by a team of three Marines, Bastards Canteen is not only an awesome restaurant, but also acts as a veteran advocacy group. They even started their own nonprofit, Save the Brave, an organization devoted to providing companionship and stress management tools to veterans. So stop by for a beer and a bastard burger and support a great cause! http://bastardscanteen.com/
Co-owned and managed by former U.S. Marine Rafael Larios, Honduras Kitchen in Long Beach and Huntington Park serves up authentic Honduran cuisine. We recommend the pollo mesapa, a chicken dish served on a plate of cabbage with Honduran cream and salsa from a family recipe. http://www.hkhonduraskitchen.com/
South of Orange County, in North Escondido, Archi's Acres is making high-tech farming available to all. Founders Colin and Karen Archipley started their farm between Colin's second and third tours of duty as a U.S. Marine in Iraq. Today, their hydroponic farm is a success, growing high quality, organic basil available in stores like Whole Foods. At Archi's Acres, not only do they hire vets, they also created Archi's Institute, which offers classes in sustainable agriculture through Cal Poly Pomona.
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