Army vet receives honor, gives back to community by helping other veterans with on-the job training

This local veteran is on a mission to support veterans and provide a judgement free zone, where they can learn hands on job skills.
PALMDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- For four years, John Parsamyan served his country in the United States Army. These days he is serving his community of Palmdale and was recently awarded the honor of 2020 Veteran of the Year.

Parsamyan is on a mission to support veterans and provide a judgement free zone, where they can learn hands on skills.

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"Americans of your character pulled together as a team, endured much in combat, defeated our enemies to insure our freedom and prosperity."

"This is my way of giving back to our veteran brothers and sisters. I'm a veteran myself. We generally have a difficult time transitioning from the military life and workforce," said Parsamyan.

He is the owner of Armed Services Autobody in the Antelope Valley. Here, he exclusively employs veterans, providing job training to help veterans avoid unemployment and homelessness.

It supports veterans like Jessy Martinez, who started here after losing hours due to the pandemic. And has used the skills he's learned to land a job at Northrop Grumman.

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Will Lewis is a war veteran and a pioneer of early LA public radio; now he and his wife are in dire need of assistance.

"I started working here and was able to get the skills that I needed. So that I'm able to get a better opportunity in life," said Martinez.
Parsamyan's team participates in monthly food drives and giveaways and hosts fundraisers for veterans facing difficult times. Palmdale's city leaders and Parsamyan's employees say he was the obvious choice for this year's award.

"He's just about service above self. And I couldn't think of a better person. And when the mayor and I discussed it, his name rose right to the top," said J.J. Murphy, city manager of Palmdale.

"I haven't seen a day where he hasn't been doing something for veterans. And any time he can help he does," said Chad Hutchison, Armed Services Auto Body Employee.

Parsamyan also serves as vice president of Vets 4 Veterans, works with Coffee 4 Vets and Blue Star Moms. He'll be the first to tell you, the work is never done. And like any American Soldier, Veteran John Parsamyan will never quit.

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