Headshot of U.S. Army veterans Rankin.

Larry Rankin faced a big decision after graduating from high school in Michigan more than two decades ago. Go to college? “I wasn’t ready for college,” he said. OK, then, follow in his Navy dad’s footsteps by joining a branch of the military? “Not for me,” Rankin said. “Never.” Then, a funny thing happened on […]

Head and shoulders photo of veteran Ed.

Ed Gafford gave rave reviews to his lunch earlier this week at the Veterans Homes of California-Ventura. “The vegetable soup was as good as I’ve ever had,” the 89-year-old U.S. Army veteran said. “A hoagie sandwich, and I had that with a kale salad. A wonderful meal.” Ah, life’s simple pleasures, with his appreciation enhanced […]

Photo of the veteran designation on a CA drivers license.

When the clock struck midnight and rang in 2023, it brought several new laws that will honor and benefit many of California’s 1.6 million military veterans. All were signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2022. Perhaps the most notable of them? We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it – literally, figuratively, and seriously. […]

WWII glider in flight over California.

As we glide into 2023, we pay tribute to the military glider – one of America’s silent weapons of World War II – that was removed from the U.S. Army’s air fleet on this day 70 years ago. Gliders were lightweight, engineless airplanes towed by cables into the skies by much bigger, motored aircraft, then […]

A soldier walks in one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces.

Shortly after U.S. troops captured Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in December 2003, a Jewish-American woman serving in the U.S. military received a care package from home. It included a menorah, candles, and a “Happy Hanukkah” card. That she received it isn’t unusual. Military personnel frequently receive packages from family members or friends in time for […]

CalTAP staff gathered at CalVet Headquarters.

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in early 2020 and shut many things down, CalVet stepped up. When other offices stopped answering their phones or were unable to reply, CalVet picked up. When military bases, college campuses, and other community-based points of connection closed, CalVet booted up and took vital information right into the veterans’ homes […]

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 2022, a black and white photo of the USS Shaw exploding during the attach on Pearl Harbor.

On Veterans Day last month, USS Arizona Navy veteran Lou Conter told a gathering in Grass Valley about the fateful events of December 7, 1941—the day the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked Pearl Harbor. Of the 2,403 Americans killed, 1,177 were his Arizona shipmates. The attack also damaged or destroyed 19 ships including eight […]

A group photo of the Hutchenson family.

Since its creation in 1921, CalVet’s Home Loans program has helped more than 440,000 veterans and their families achieve the American dream of homeownership, loaning more than $8.4 billion–and counting–through its first 101 years. That “counting” will continue for years to come after a recent bond sale provided an additional $255.5 million to help more […]

Feature art for WordPress article, headshot of servicemember Kanwarpreet Singh.

When Kanwarpreet Singh came to the United States from India four years ago, he knew he wanted to serve his new country. Military service, he said, is important to members of the Sikh faith no matter where they live. However, he would need some help to join any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and […]

Group shot of the Veterans Division team at the CalVet Leadership Summit 2022.

The parades and picnics are over. Speeches made and proclamations read. The American flags that lined the streets throughout the country and California are neatly folded, stored until the next national holiday. Veterans Day – America’s annual day of thanking veterans for defending this country and the freedoms our Constitution guarantees – is in the […]