Founder, President, Founding Board Member
Author John Hodel, Founder and President of Stand for Vets / The Mark Hodel Veteran’s Foundation has had a rich career and courageous path filled with personal loss we can all relate to. John Hodel grew up in Northern California, in the country near the town of Lodi. He was the youngest of three brothers by 18 (Eric) and 14 (Mark) years. By the time he was 7, his older brother Eric was married, and his second oldest brother Mark, had been shipped out to Vietnam as a Navy Seebea. Around Mark’s passing on March 31, 1968, Eric became very involved in motorcycle racing and John started riding an old Yamaha 55 in the 5-acre fields of his home. At 17 years old, John’s dad was killed in a motorcycle accident, just two months before retirement. By this time, John and Eric were both racing motorcycles and through it all, their mother never asked them to quit. John’s career has been centered around technology and software sales. In 1995, after some personal setbacks, he embarked on an 18,000 mile solo Harley ride around North America. This notable adventure lead to John writing about his experience and becoming a respectable author with his book, Lessons from the Back Roads: Because Life Is Too Short to Use Interstates. The results of that book introduced John to his current wife, Anna, who had a 7-year-old son named Jonathan. Anna and John raised Jonathan over the next 14 years, when he then joined the Marines for a four-year term. He is now 27 and serves on the board of Stand for Vets / The Mark Hodel Veteran’s Foundation. Together, John and Anna are very active in their community and currently live in Laguna Niguel, California, where he works in data & analytic sales and Anna owns her own Health/Life insurance company.