Longtime Palisades Resident Named Veteran of the Year

Col. Dick Littlestone honored for service to the country by LA City Council

By Sam Catanzaro

A longtime Pacific Palisades resident, veteran of WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam War, was recently recognized for his service to the country when named by city officials as Veteran of the Year.

United States Army Colonel Dick Littlestone, a Pacific Palisades resident for 47 years, was named by Los Angeles City Council last month as Veteran of the Year for Council District 11, which includes the Palisades. Col. Littlestone served in the United States Army for 33 years and is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and more than a dozen other honors. The honor, which was bestowed to Col. Littlestone on Veterans Day, was announced in Councilmember Mike Bonin’s November newsletter.

“Throughout his decades of service to both his country and his community, Colonel Littlestone has consistently combined his passion for the military with education,” Bonin said. “Colonel Dick Littlestone is an extraordinary example of patriotic duty and service – to his country and to the City of Los Angeles.”

In addition to his time in the army, Col. Littlestone has served as Chair and Professor of UCLA’s Department of Military Science and as the Associate Director of the UCLA Computers and Information Systems Research Program in the Graduate School of Management.

A rendering of the final Los Angeles National Cemetery’s Columbarium Expansion. Photo: National Cemetery Administration (NCA) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Col. Littlestone has also been a driving force behind Los Angeles National Cemetery’s new and expanded columbarium, a 4.4-acre project on the West Los Angeles VA Campus that will house the remains of over 90,000 veterans and their family members. And while Col. Littlestone says the process of working with the VA has “been long”, progress was made on October 15, 2019 when the new columbarium was unveiled.

“It’s important to me. But more importantly, the new columbarium will double the number of people who can be buried in Los Angeles. Until now, people were buried in Riverside. And now, 90,000 veterans and their kin can rest peacefully in the new columbarium — and for many, closer to their homes and living relatives. I am happy too because I know that I have a place where I can rest up,” Col. Littlestone told Bonin.

Col. Littlestone, who has been advocating for veterans for decades, says it his service in three wars and all the Army has provided him that drives his continued involvement and advocacy.

“…now, 90,000 veterans and their kin can rest peacefully in the new columbarium — and for many, closer to their homes and living relatives. I am happy too because I know that I have a place where I can rest up.”

Col. Dick Littlestone

“The fact that I am a Veteran of World War II, the Korean and Vietnam war and my years of army service drive my advocacy. Through the G.I. Bill, I was able to have a number of advanced degrees and have a wonderful career as a result. I’ve been married for 71 years. And since being retired, I have enjoyed advocating for veterans and other communities,” Col. Littlestone said.

This was not the first time Col. Littlestone was recognized by Los Angeles officials. In 2015 he was honored with the first-ever Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ Veterans Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Colonel Dick Littlestone is a shining example for all of us of patriotic duty and service, to his country and Los Angeles County,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl at the time.

As for the nearly 50 years living in the Palisades?

“I am very fortunate to have lived here for the last 47 years. I enjoy the ambiance and the weather. I am lucky to live near the water where it is clear and warm,” Col. Littlestone says.

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