Why Doesn’t Steven Choi Tout His Military Experience?

Shortly after his unfortunate attempt to smear House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Irvine, OJ publisher Zorro, er, Art Pedroza, met up with Irvine council member Steven Choi to interview Choi about his assembly race.  Pedroza’s support of Choi has more to do with the fact we don’t care for Choi more so than Art’s support of Choi’s political positions.  But one of the items that emerged from the OJ post which was later changed was a claim from Art that Choi fought alongside American troops in the DMZ during the Korean War.  Which would have made Choi six or nine years old at the time.

So we paid a visit to Choi’s website and did email the Councilman’s fundraiser asking about his service in the South Korean military.  There’s no mention of Choi’s military background on his website.  Frankly, I find it odd for a Republican not to mention any military service.  Look at Chuck DeVore’s mulitple references to his own miliary experience.  Dana Roharbacher evaded the draft but is as hawkish as can be.  Vice President Cheney is famous for having other priorities during Vietnam.

The fundraiser then referred me to Dr. Choi’s email address and I wrote him asking about this clear lack of information.   He accused me of writing posts about him using “false facts and reasoning.”  I’d appreciate Dr. Choi pointing out any error in any of my posts about him.

So, by copying me on an email to his fundraiser, I have this portrait of Dr. Choi’s service in the South Korean military, rewritten from his email since he never replied to my request to republish his email.  That email exchange was in February, and I’ve been meaning to get to this post forever, but other things kept popping up.

Choi was commissioned as an Artillery Second Lieutenant in February of 1966 and deployed to the 3rd Infantry Division, known as Baekgol Boodae – Skeleton Division in Chulwon, Kangwondo, which was defending the DMZ area directly  facing the North Korean Communist soldiers. Choi served “by the DMZ lines” as an Observation Post Officer monitoring the daily movements of the North Korean solders via high power telescopes. When hostilities occured, Choi could order firing of 105 millimeter howitzer guns to shoot the North Korean soliders.  At the end of June, 1968, Choi was honorably discharged to the Reserve Force.

Was that so tough?  Choi plans to author a book about his experience in the Korean War (maybe he and DeVore can get together on a sequel to “China Attacks” with a North Korean angle to it.

Choi forwarded a number of poorly scanned images but its hard to tell which one he is and Dr. Choi did not give me permission to republish them.  He did say that Pedroza had several errors in his story (of course there were errors).

Choi’s email to his fundraiser is telling; he feels discussing his military background is somehow bragging and at the end of the message, he says that the fundraiser knows more about Choi’s military experience than Choi’s own wife does. 

Now that Dr. Choi and his family are living is that small apartment in Woodbridge, I’m sure he can tell his wife and kids all about those days in the DMZ.  A drive by of the Woodbury home showed no cars in the driveway or down the street, so I can picture the Choi family sitting around that card table and folding chairs as he tells his family about his days in a South Korean military uniform.


  1. Dan, if military experience has now become such an important issue, why don’t you share with us the heroic service experiences of your patrons Larry Agran and Sukhee Kang? Since Beth Krom is a woman, we will let her slide on this one. Also if you could, just to demonstrate you knowledge of such things, tell us about your own experience defending the Constitution of the United States.

    Although, Steven Choi and I are not social friends and I never even knew him before 2008, I did get to know a little about him during the campaign. I found him to be a hard working, good hearted kind of man, who speaks ill of few people. Many times during the campaign, I had to remind him that he was being too nice and that Larry Agran would have him for lunch. Well, big surprise, in the end it was I was was had for lunch and Steven Choi to his credit, got the second highest number of votes behind Beth Krom.

    Steven deserves much more respect than you care to give him. As compared to the political hacks in Tustin and the Johnnie come Lately, Lincoln Club Member who now wants to be an Assemblyman, Don Wagoner, Steven Choi is better than both of them combined. As always, thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you. I look forward to hearing about the military experience of the Agranistas.

  2. Another riveting hit piece by the Lib OC. Instead of picking on his military service or lack thereof (like it was a prerequisite for serving in the Assembly), can you at least do a respectable piece on policy disagreements that you have with Choi? Or is that asking too much because deep down, you know your choice of Melissa Fox is going down in flames this November. If her performance at last night’s UCI debate was a preview of what to expect in the fall, I’ll pass on her empty suit, contradictory rhetoric and write in Towelie from South Park.

    I don’t care for any of these 70th AD candidates from the major parties, but if you consider yourself a “pundit,” expert or whatever, you have to do a better job than what you constantly accuse the OC Register or Fox News of doing. Or did repeated viewings of the Robert DeNiro/Wesley Snipes film “The Fan” instigate your fetish to stalk your political enemies outside their homes in Irvine? Let me know the next time your in the Woodbury area so I can give you a large pizza from First Class Pizza for you to dine on all by your lonesome while you play “I Spy.” Just let me know what toppings you want on your pizza. My treat, really.

    I suppose you could blame your spying fetish on your choice of cinematic fare and then lobby your legislator to ban such films. Because after all, viewing stalker films leads to stalking behavior. Kind of like saying silverware and plates causes obesity.

    In any case Dan, go ahead and continue with your childish “I Spy” games in Irvine on Dr. Choi. It’s your life and if that what turns you on, then by all means go right ahead and do what you’ve been doing. Don’t be surprised when someone from the neighborhood dials 911 on you or gathers video evidence of you in your vehicle and turns it in to Irvine’s PD. Your actions do have consequences.

    If you want the Democratic Party to gain any respect and traction in this district or this county (beyond Santa Ana that is), you’ll need to rise above the childish antics instead of playing the game of “they started it” and sinking to the base level that you claim to detest from the OC Republicans. I expect to see that crap in grade school but it looks like some people haven’t matured beyond that. OF course, I am basing this on your present and past pieces on Dr. Choi. But I guess I’m asking too much because I realize now that maturity and liberal Democrat are not synonymous terms.

    Happy Stalking!

  3. Pat —
    Mayor Kang, like Dr. Choi, completed mandatory service in the military in South Korea. As for the post, frankly I’m doing the good Doctor a favor by telling his fans he servede honorably in the South Korean Army and correcting some mistakes presented in an original report posted on Orange Juice. In an age where so many Republican chickenhawks promote the military, I find it odd that Dr. Choi would not promote his own military service.

    Guy —
    I drive on the public streets of Irvine. Please enlighten me on what laws I may have broken. I am merely following up on my own report. Dr. Choi, however, may face an investigation for fraud in regards to his “carpetbagging” and his political opponents have gone much further than I have.

    If Choi survives the Republican primary, I’m happy to develop a policy post for you. I don’t think he’ll win based on his fundraising. And he’ll be termed out of the Irvine Council by 2012 having served 8 years without much of a record to speak of.

    As for pizza, that’s not exactly on my diet these days. But First Class Pizza pales in comparison to the New York Pizzeria on Alton which is about the closest thing to “Ray’s Pizza” from Manhattan you’ll find and the onl place I’ve found with decent calzones and stromboli. As far as Italian markets go, hit Claro’s in Tustin and Cortina’s in Anaheim. But get there early for the fresh hard crusted bread. Cortina’s has excellent pizza right next store, and Claro’s ready-made Italian subs are the best lunch deal in the county.

    One thing council candidate Jeff Lalloway and I agree on is Pina’s Bistro in Tustin on First Street near the 55.

    But that all aside, rather than condemn your version of “stalking” I prefer it as an investigation into making sure candidates are truthful in declaring their residency to run for office. Harry Sidhu and Lorri Galloway made the move and live in their new homes in the district while it was pretty clear at the time of my original post that Choi did not.

    And unlike the ACORN videos, which Republicans cheered about, I didn’t edit anything.

  4. When you “investigation” of Dr. Choi’s residency turns into an obsession (judging from your recent posts about his residency), it could be perceived as stalking and would give a visiting police officer probable cause to ask you what you are doing in the neighborhood. That is, if a complaint is registered against you. I know in the Woodbury area there a quite a few paranoid types there that freak out over the sight on an abandoned backpack or someone sitting in their car for an extended period of time. Heaven forbid, someone or something sullies their idea of a utopian Stepford paradise. But unfortunately, that is the reality of the situation there in Woodbury (I don’t know about Woodbridge so I won’t comment there) I don’t give a rat’s ass if “the other side” does it, it doesn’t sound too kosher.

    Since Choi doesn’t have a chance of winning, you’re efforts would be better served to focus on the eventual Republican nominee Don Wagner and his ridiculous claims at last night’s UCI debate about marijuana legalization will lead to the legalization of prostitution, gambling and harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin in California. (aka “gateway legalization”) It was the biggest applause line of the night. Unbeknownst to Wagner, the people in the audience applauding were applauding in support of legalization. I don’t think that was the reaction he was looking for.

  5. That’s just it Guy; I’m in the car. I stop at stop signs and keep driving. I would invite any police officer to stop me and I’d also ask waht law I’m breaking.

    It frankly doesn’t matter who wins the Republican primary; this blog will have plenty to say about the winner. And more to the point, why that perosn isn’t fit to represent us in the Assembly

    • Dan, on this point we are in full agreement.

      I spent a few days in the hospital in Baghdad, and was treated by American medical staff from the 10th Mountain Divison Combat Hospital out of Denver.

      I was impressed at both the quality of treatment and professional attitude of the doctors and nurses, not only toward myself, but also to several Iraqui’s in adjacent beds. One of the Iraqui’s, was an enemy combatant and his treatment was just the same as the rest of us. I have never been more proud to be an American and came away with a new found respect and admiration for our military medical personnel.

  6. Aren’t both of Choi’s children adults? Pretty likely they aren’t living at home anymore. But I’m sure they did hear his stories of his service days when they were still kids. Hope you are enjoying your daily Woodbury drive-by’s. There is no question that Woodbury’s private security has been notified already to be on the lookout for a random repeat visitor who stops in front of Choi’s house with iphone in hand. Whether or not you are liable for stalking, that would just be flat out embarrassing.

  7. Choi doesn’t live in a gated community; I’ve driven by his Woodbury home exactly twice, the second time last Sunday just to see if the white Mercedes was parked up the street as Jerry Amante’s lawyer alledged (BTW, direct your attention their way; that investigation was far more substantial than mine and, unlike Tony Bushala who knocked on the door at Harry Sidhu’s new home in Anaheim and asked where his kids went to school, I stayed on public streets and sidewalks).

    Do you think Dr. Chooi will invite me to play cards with him at his new Woodbury apartment?

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