Veteran of the Year

Tom Hilzendeger Award Banner2

The Tom Hilzendeger Veteran of the Year Award aims to honor a veteran’s exceptional bravery, dedication, and sacrifice, regardless of rank or service branch, emphasizing those individuals who demonstrate a readiness to contribute to their community through selfless service. The award recipient will be announced and recognized in May 2024 at a City Council meeting.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a resident of the Antelope Valley;
  • Be an active duty personnel, reservist, or retired with an honorable discharge; and,
  • Must hail from one of the following branches: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, or National Guard.

Anyone can submit nominations for the Veteran of the Year award. To nominate an individual for this prestigious honor, kindly apply online at
If the nominee is selected for the final round, you will be asked to submit further details, such as a formal bio, a digital photo, and verification documents, as necessary.

For additional information, email or call 661/267-5151.

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Previous Awards

Tony Tortolano, a United States Marine veteran, has been recognized as the Tom Hilzendeger 2023 Veteran of the Year by the City of Palmdale. He served in the U.S. Marine Corp. 1st Battalion, 14th Marines Unit with 155mm artillery battery from February 1981 to March 1987. Since 1989, Tony has been residing in the Antelope Valley and has supported veterans in the community. He is currently serving as the Veterans Liaison of Vets 4 Veterans and has been volunteering since 2019. In 2020, he volunteered with Toys for Tots, Coffee 4 Vets, Bombshell Betty’s, Patriot Guard riders, and Marine Corps League. Tony has earned the Good Conduct Medal, Marine Reserve Medal, and meritorious mast for Outstanding Leadership during a Battalion exercise. He strongly believes that it is a privilege and an honor to serve, help, and be friends with all veterans.