Michael L. Emerson's Mini-Biography



 


 

Michael L. Emerson is the oldest of eight children from French/German parents who emigrated from Western Europe. Michael was raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. in the towns of Silver Spring, Kensington & Wheaton, Maryland where he went to Oakland Terrace Elementary School, and Newport Mill Jr. High School, and graduated from Wheaton High School in 1979, four months after his 16th birthday (Michael was academically accelerated and allowed to skip the 1st and 11th grades). Growing up, Michael and his family spoke mostly French in the home, he also lived and went to school for one year in Paris, France.  He is still able to speak near fluent French.


MILITARY SERVICE:

U.S. Marine Corps Eagle/Globe/Anchor EmblemAt the age of 19, in April 1982, Michael joined the active duty United States Marine Corps where he enlisted specifically to be an Infantryman. Michael graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot - Parris Island, South Carolina boot camp on 18 August 1982, where he was second in his graduating platoon. After boot camp, Michael completed Infantry Training School, Camp Geiger at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, graduating second in his class on 15 September 1982. Michael received his primary Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 0311, which is an Infantryman. After Infantry Training School, Michael was stationed “Main Side” at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina with the 1st Battalion/2nd Marines (1/2), Bravo Company, in the unit’s Heavy Weapons Platoon. While with 1/2 Michael went from being an Infantryman to a Mortarman (MOS 0341). In addition, Michael also became a Machine Gunner (MOS 0331). Because of Michael's swimming prowess, he was chosen to go to Water Safety Survival School, becoming a Water Safety Survival Instructor (WSSI) and graduated first in his class (earning an official secondary MOS 8563). During Michael's first overseas deployment he and his unit went on a 3 month NATO CRUISE on the U.S. Navy ship, USS Trenton LPD-14, going to England, Scotland, Spain and Norway. While on the NATO cruise, he participated in the Navy "Order of the Blue Nose" initiation, becoming a "Blue Nose" when his ship crossed the Arctic Circle. On Michael's second overseas deployment, he and his unit were sent to the Philippines, South Korea and Okinawa, Japan (Camp Schawb) on a 6 month WestPAC deployment, spending time on the U.S. Navy ship, USS Anchorage LSD-36. Michael's final overseas deployment, while on active duty, was with UNITAS/WATC XXVI (United American States/West African Training Cruise 26) on the U.S. Navy ship, USS Saginaw LST-1188. He went to the Caribbean, Central and South America and participated in military cross training with our allies in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Columbia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil. While in Panama, Michael received "The Order of the Ditch," which is a certificate for going through the Panama Canal on a U.S. military ship.  Michael also participated with his fellow Marines in marching across land from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean along the Panama Canal (about 42 miles). Also, when the USS Saginaw LST-1188 crossed the Equator, Michael participated in the Navy "Shellback/Wog" initiation becoming a "Shellback." The UNITAS/WATC XXVI cruise also went to West Africa for military cross training in Zaire, Congo, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Ghana, Guinea, and Nigeria. Unfortunately, while in Africa, Michael was seriously injured during one of the military missions he participated in.


While on the UNITAS/WATC XXVI cruise, Michael was able to use his French speaking skills to translate for the Navy and Marine Officers, Staff NCOs and even some of the American Ambassadors of the various countries he visited and trained in. Michael was awarded a Certificate of Commendation from Rear Admiral R.C. Ustick for the "Superior Performance" of his translation duties.


Michael also played on the U.S. Marine Corps Volleyball team, playing against the National and Olympic Volleyball teams of the South American and African countries visited during UNITAS/WATC military operations.


Michael was also a linebacker and played on the 2nd Marines Regimental Football team.

After Michael was promoted to the rank of Sergeant he went to Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) School at Parris Island, South Carolina and was third in this class. Michael left active duty in April 1986.


After Michael left active duty and settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, he chose to join the USMC active reserves in Alameda, CA. Because of Michael's French speaking abilities, Sergeant Michael L. Emerson's MOS was changed to Military Intelligence. With the
30th ITT (Interrogation Translation Team), Michael was trained as a French Interrogator and Translator (MOS 0251).


In February 1991, Michael was officially recalled from reserve duty to active duty to participate in Operation Desert Shield/Storm during the Persian Gulf War. Along with the medals and ribbons he received for his participation and actions during the Desert Storm/Persian Gulf War, Michael also received a Certificate of Commendation for his "Superior Performance of Duty."

During Michael's military service he served in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Marine Divisions.

During Michael's U.S. Marine Corps military service he was awarded:

Eight (8) Medals and Five (5) additional Service Award Ribbons.

Michael is a LIFE member of the following Veterans organizations:

Veterans of Foreign Wars - VFW.

The American Legion - TAL.

Marine Corps League - MCL.

Disabled American Veterans - DAV.

American Veterans - AMVETS.

Michael is the Founder and also a Charter member of AMVETS (American Veterans) Hayward Post 911, which meets every first Thursday of the month at 7 PM at the Hayward Veterans Memorial Building in downtown Hayward, California.


Michael is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Post #9601 and The American Legion, Post #649, both located in Castro Valley, California.


Michael is a Member At Large of the Marine Corps League and a member of Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Chapter #7, located in Oakland, California.

Michael has also been a very active member of the AMVETS (American Veterans) Hayward Post 911 Honor/Color Guard in Alameda County, California for years.


Michael is also a member of the Patriot Guard Riders (PGR), which is an organization that accompanies military personnel from their homes to the airport when they deploy, and when they return from deployment, the PGR accompanies them from the airport back home. The PGR also attends and participates in military funerals and other military events to support the troops.


Michael is also a member of Operation MOM, which is an organization that collects donations of toiletries and snack foods that we pack up into "care packages" and mail to the troops serving overseas.


Michael is also a Charter/Founding Member and past President of the Student Veterans Organization (SVO) at California State University East Bay in Hayward, California.

 

Michael was selected and appointed in 2010 as a "National Aide-de-Camp," by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) 2010-2011 National Commander-in-Chief Richard L. Eubank.


Michael is also the recipient of the California State Legislature Assembly 20th District's: "2011 VETERAN OF THE YEAR" award.
In addition, Michael was chosen again as the recipient of the California State Legislature Assembly 20th District's: "2014 VETERAN OF THE YEAR" award.

In 2008, Michael and his American Legion Post #649 submitted and passed a Resolution in both the California Department/State and the National American Legion Organization to endorse and support the building of the Flight 93 NATIONAL Memorial in Shanksville, PA.

In 2009, Michael and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #554 (in Somerset, PA) submitted and passed a Resolution in both the Pennsylvania Department/State and the National VFW Organization to endorse the building of the Flight 93 NATIONAL Memorial in Shanksville, PA.

In 2013, Michael and the Board of Directors of the National Desert Storm War Memorial (using the same resolution wording as Michael used in 2008) submitted and passed a Resolution at the National American Legion National Convention to endorse and support the building of the National Desert Storm War Memorial in Washington, D.C.



CIVILIAN LIFE:

Emerson Family CrestAfter leaving active military duty, Michael traveled around the Southern and Western United States for about 2 months; he visited many historic landmarks and cities. At the end of his cross-country trip he arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area in June 1986, at the age of 23, with his 1982 silver 4-door Honda Civic, $50.00 in his pocket, a water cooler, and a backpack of clothes. Michael quickly found employment in the real estate industry in the Sunnyvale, CA, Los Altos, CA and Palo Alto, CA areas of the "South Bay," near the city of San Jose, in Santa Clara County, California. In 1988, he decided to change his career and became a salesman for an Electronics Hardware Manufacturing Company in San Jose, CA. About a year later, he went to work at a larger company. Then, in September 1990, he decided to open his own Electronics Turnkey Hardware Manufacturing Company called Emerson Enterprises. Emerson Enterprises was a very successful Electronics Hardware & Software Manufacturing and Supply Representative Company, in 1999 Michael retired when he sold the company. After traveling the world for 5 years, Michael took Trust/Trustee classes in 2004, currently he is a part-time Professional Trustee, in which he consults on and establishes both Personal Living Trusts and Irrevocable Business Trusts for individuals and businesses. After Michael got his 4th college degree in 2008, this time in Economics. Michael became an "Economist" and is now a Professional Trustee and also an Economic Consultant to business, corporations and individuals.

 

During the 1990s, while working full time, and going to College at night, Michael earned a Business Degree in 1993 (with Honors) and also a MicroComputer Degree in 1997 (with Magna Cum Laude Honors).


During the 2000s, Michael earned a Bachelor Degree in Economics, with a Minor Degree in History, at California State University East Bay, Hayward, California in June 2009.


Michael is a LIFE member of the following College organizations:

College Fraternity "Alpha Phi Omega" (APO).

College Honor Scholarship Society "Alpha Gamma Sigma."

College Economics International Honor Society "Omicron Delta Epsilon."

Michael is also the recipient of the 2007 California State University President's Student Service and Leadership Outstanding Citizenship Award.

Michael was also greatly honored when he was selected and Commissioned a "Kentucky Colonel" by the State of Kentucky because of his many years of military, volunteer and philanthropic service and activities. Additionally, Michael was also awarded the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels: "Medal of Distinction" for his outstanding efforts and donations to those in need.


Michael is also a past member and President of "Toastmasters International," a national speaking and presentation club.


Michael has traveled the World and so far has traveled to and visited 106 out of 210 Countries on 6 out of the 7 Continents (not Antarctica, yet). He has also been to all 50 of the U.S. States and every major U.S. city.  His goal is to travel and visit all 208 countries on the planet Earth; and if future technology allows it, to also visit the Moon.

Michael currently lives in Hayward Hills, California, which is in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he enjoys spending weekends and holidays with his two fantastic, handsome and brilliant sons who are the center of his universe.


Michael believes in giving back to the community and has been a community volunteer for more than 25 years.  Michael’s volunteer philosophy is: I believe to be a good citizen you need to give back to the community for the common good.”



MEMORIALS & VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS:
(Michael is not paid or compensated in any way, he 100% donates all of his designs, time, expertise and contacts for the following:)

Michael is the founder, creator, designer and main fundraiser for the HAYWARD 9/11 MEMORIAL in Hayward, California which is being built to honor all of the Heroes of 9/11. In addition the Memorial will also honor Hayward First Responders and Veterans. The Memorial has the support of the community, local and State of California politicians, and surviving families of the 9/11 Heroes. Thanks to the donations of materials and labor from locals and also organizations around the country, plus generous financial donations along with the help of a lot of good people and organizations. We Completed and Dedicated the HAYWARD 9/11 MEMORIAL on Memorial Day, Monday 30 May 2016. For more information, to donate, and to get involved please visit: The HAYWARD 9/11 MEMORIAL in Hayward, California

Michael was contacted by the Board of Directors for the National Desert Storm War Memorial which will be built in Washington, D.C. He has been asked to be a Memorial Consultant Volunteer because of his many years of experience with designing and building memorials. Michael is helping in any way he can and in any capacity the Board needs of him. Such as, advice on the Memorial's size, aesthetics, and location. Michael is also a Desert Storm Marine Corps veteran and will use his connections in Government and military Veteran Service Organizations to help move the project forward. To read an article in the American Legion National Magazine about the Memorial from Feb 2014: Read article here
For more details and to donate:
www.NationalDesertStormWarMemorial.org

Michael was contacted by "Detroit Hank" Kinzey who was working on the OAKLAND COUNTY 9/11 MEMORIAL in Pontiac, Michigan (in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan) to ask for help to complete the Memorial that was built to Honor and Remember the Heroes of 9/11 and includes dirt and rocks from Shanksville, PA for Flight 93, a piece of metal from the World Trade Center Twin Towers from Manhattan, New York, and a piece of stone from The Pentagon building in Washington, D.C./Arlington, VA.  Michael first met Hank when he and the Flight 93 families did the "Ride with the 40" motorcycle run across the USA and stopped to visit Michael's FLIGHT 93 MEMORIAL in Union City, California on 10 September 2009. Michael was honored to help with the Oakland County 9/11 Memorial by writing and donating the wording that was used on the FLIGHT 93 and PENTAGON parts of the Memorial, also supplying 9/11 photos he has taken or collected over the years from the NYC, Flight 93 and Pentagon 9/11 sites. Out of the 16 photos used on the Oakland County 9/11 Memorial, they used 14 that Michael supplied. Michael was invited to and attended the dedication of the Oakland County 9/11 Memorial on 11 September 2015. Michael is very honored and proud to have been asked to donate his help with getting this beautiful 9/11 Memorial built.

Michael was also Assistant Chairman of the Memorial project to build the SILENT HEROES OF THE COLD WAR NATIONAL MEMORIAL located at the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway on Mount Charleston near Las Vegas, Nevada. This Memorial was built to honor and remember the Military Service members of the United States who served during the Cold War (Michael served in the U. S. Marine Corps during the Cold War) and the Secret Operatives who worked to win the Cold War. At the same time we also built a USAF #9068 MONUMENT to remember the fourteen U-2 Government Operatives who died in the 17 November 1955 plane crash on Mount Charleston, Nevada. The Memorials are located in the U. S. Forest Service's Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway Recreational Area near the crash site. The U. S. Government and the State of Nevada have designated this new Memorial to be a "National Park." Michael helped with finalizing the design, putting together the donation request packets, setup the partnership and sponsorship with the American Legion, and contacted major Las Vegas Casinos for donations to build the Memorial. With the help of donations from the community we completed and dedicated the Memorial on 29 May 2015. For more information, to donate to our maintenance fund, and to get involved please visit: The SILENT HEROES OF THE COLD WAR NATIONAL MEMORIAL in the Las Vegas Area, Nevada


Michael also supported and helped with the building of the
THE AMERICAN VETERANS DISABLED FOR LIFE MEMORIAL located in Washington, D.C.  Michael is a 60% service connected lifetime disabled veteran, so he has a direct connection to this Memorial.
The Memorial is in the heart of Washington, D.C. very close to our National Capitol Building. The Memorial was built to remember and honor Disabled Veterans who live with and suffer everyday with their injuries that they received during their honorable service in the U. S. Military. The Memorial was dedicated on 5 October 2014. Michael was invited to and attended the Dedication with his family. For more information please visit: THE AMERICAN VETERANS DISABLED FOR LIFE MEMORIAL in Washington, D.C.

Michael is the founder, originator, creator, co-designer and fundraiser for The Flight 93 Memorial in Union City, California which was built to honor the Heroes of 9/11. After contacting the local families of the Heroes, and getting their approval and support, Michael contacted Union City, CA (the city of Hayward, CA had already turned the project down) and they enthusiastically approved of the Memorial. After 5+ years spending hundreds of hours of time and effort, and with the aid of a lot of good people and organizations, The Flight 93 Memorial, Union City, California was completed and dedicated on Saturday, 8 Dec 2007. For more information, to donate, and to get involved please visit: The Flight 93 Memorial, Union City California

After Michael completed the Flight 93 Memorial in Union City, CA. the National Park Foundation, which is a division of the National Park Service, and the Flight 93 Family Organization invited Michael to be a member of a special National Steering Committee to help build the Flight 93 NATIONAL Memorial in Shanksville, PA. The Steering Committee consisted of a total of 24 people including: President Bill Clinton, President George Bush (Jr.), Vice-President Joe Biden, Army General Tommy Franks, past Pennsylvania Governor and Homeland Security Czar Tom Ridge, the owner of Outback Steak House Chris T. Sullivan, Flight 93 Family members, Michael L. Emerson and other prominent individuals. The Flight 93 NATIONAL Memorial was dedicated in Shanksville, PA on  10 Sept 2011, the day before we held the 10 year anniversary on 11 Sept 2011. For more information and to get involved please visit:
www.HonorFlight93.org

Part of Michael's duties in helping build the
Flight 93 NATIONAL Memorial in Shanksville, PA as a member of the 24 person National Steering Committee of the National Park Foundation is to help raise funds to build the Memorial. One of Michael's fund raising activities was that he persuaded rose hybridizer J.B. Williams to donate a genetic one of a kind rose, red with a white stripe in the center of the petal. Michael named the rose "THE 9/11 FLIGHT 93 ROSE." Michael then negotiated with several flower nurseries located around the USA to grow and sell, for a donation, the rose bushes to the public. For every rose bush sold for donation, $5.00 goes to help fund and build the Flight 93 NATIONAL Memorial. For more information and to order rose bushes please visit: www.Flight93Rose.com

Michael was also on the Board of Directors of the Somerset County Flag Committee, Inc. in Somerset, Pennsylvania which is located near the 9/11 - United Flight 93 crash site. The Somerset Flag Committee's purpose is to maintain the Veterans Memorial grounds area and also the 120 foot flag pole that was dedicated to the Heroes of United Flight 93 on 14 June 2009. The organization continues to seek donations to pay for the maintenance of the Flag Pole area and to purchase more of the 60 foot x 30 foot US Flags (about $2,000 each) that are flown daily. For more information, to see pictures of the Flag Pole, to get involved, and to donate please contact Michael directly and also visit: www.SomersetFlag.org

In March 2011, Michael went on a trip to the Pacific Islands of Guam, Saipan, and Tinian to visit WWII U.S. Marine Corps battle sites, later he visited and toured the Island of Iwo Jima, site of the famous WWII Marine Corps U.S. Flag Raising on Mount Suribachi. While on Tinian Island, Michael visited the Army Air Corps Base where the two planes (Enola Gay & Bockscar), that dropped the two atomic bombs on Japan on 6 & 9 August 1945, were loaded and took off from, this Base is now a U.S. National Park. While there, Michael noticed that all of the units that were on Tinian during WWII had a Remembrance Monument built and left there to honor each unit. But, although the 4th Marine Division had a Monument, a Monument for the 2nd Marine Division, who also fought and took the Island from the Japanese, was missing. So Michael enlisted the aid of Don Farrell, an American and U.S. Air Force veteran, who lives on Tinian Island. Together, Michael and Don, got the approval of the Mayor of Tinian, the Governor of the Mariana Islands, and the National Park Service to build a matching Remembrance Monument for the 2nd Marine Division. Michael had the black granite wording plaque made in the USA and shipped it to Tinian. At the same time Don had the Remembrance Monument built for the plaque to be installed on.
The new 2nd Marine Division Remembrance Monument was formally dedicated on 1 July 2011. Because of the distance, Michael was not able to attend. This is a link to a Leatherneck Magazine Article written about Tinian and the dedication: Because Marines Never Forget: Tinian. Also this is a link to a video that was made of the dedication: 2nd MarDiv Monument Dedication & Commemoration on Tinian
 

Michael is also the Designer and Project Build Manager for the Castro Valley Veterans Memorial (CVVM) in Castro Valley, California. The Memorial was built to honor all of our Military Veterans. After about three years, and hundreds of hours of time and effort, and with the help of other veterans in Michael's Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post #9601, in Castro Valley, California the Memorial was completed at the end of October 2012. The CVVM was Dedicated on Veterans Day, Sunday, 11 November 2012. For more information, to donate, and to get involved please visit: www.CVVM.info


Michael was also on the
Board of Directors and the 1st Vice President of the Veterans Support Foundation (VSF) which is affiliated with the United States Armed Forces Association (USAFA). The VSF was originally the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund (VVAF) which was the charity division of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). Years ago the VVA decided to spin off the charity division, so it could also help other veterans organizations, and continue to help veterans after the last Vietnam Veteran died and the VVA organization would cease to be an active organization. Although Michael is a Persian Gulf War/Desert Storm veteran, he was selected by the VSF Board of Directors to be the first non-Vietnam Veteran to formally be part of the organization. For more information, to get involved, and to donate please contact Michael directly and also visit: www.VSF-USA.org

Michael is also the Deputy Director of Strategic Relations of the Veteran Tickets Foundation, which is the foundation that oversees and operates VetTix.org and HerosWish.org. Veteran Tickets Foundation is a nationally recognized 501c3 Veterans Support Organization, that is also approved by the Department of Defense (DoD), whose mission is to: “Give something to those who gave.” The Foundation teams up with sports teams, leagues, promoters, organizations, venues and everyday event ticket holders to provide free (and discounted) tickets to the more than 26 million active duty Military, Veterans and their families in the United States. Gold Star families are also eligible for this program. VetTix.org: Supplies entertainment, lasting memories and reintegration opportunities by providing FREE event tickets to sporting events (Pro & College), concerts, shows, zoos, and many other family activities. HerosWish.org: Is a program for active duty Military personnel (one month prior to, while on leave from or one month after their deployments), and also severely wounded warriors and Gold Star families of men and woman killed in action (KIA). Hero's Wish allows members who meet certain criteria to request specific tickets for any single event, and have donors fulfill that request either by ticket donation or by donating money to make the hero's wish come true. For more information about Veteran Tickets Foundation, to get involved, and to donate please contact Michael directly and also visit: www.VetTix.org

 

 

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