On Veterans Day a couple of weeks ago, many folks thanked our military veterans for their service in defending our constitution. COVID-19 restrictions prevented the firm handshakes and warm hugs that once carried the day, and gave way to drive-by parades, salutes from afar, and virtual greetings. Still, the sentiments were genuine, heartfelt, and very […]

November 19, 1863, 157 year ago, just over four months after one of the deadliest, bloodiest, and defining battles of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln arrived in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He spent the night in David Wills’s home in downtown Gettysburg, less than a mile away from the cemetery that would be dedicated the following […]

Veterans of the United States military, along with those who lost family members, can now enter Yosemite, Yellowstone, or any other national park in the United States at no charge. Once available only to disabled veterans, the benefit expanded to all veterans and Gold Star families beginning Veterans Day 2020, and available at more than […]

Certain days in a month, over time, can become magnets for important events. Take November 16, as an example. It has been a huge day in the history of the United States’ space program, beginning with November 16, 1945, when 88 German scientists captured during the fall of the Nazi Germany arrived in the U.S. bearing the […]

Each Veterans Day, we honor those who served to defend this nation. Parades. Shows. Visible well intentioned and well deserved thanks. Often lost in the moment is that for so many veterans, serving remains in their blood. It doesn’t end when they are handed their DD-214 discharge paperwork. To the contrary, they are just getting […]

Since 1919, November 11 has held a special place in Americans’ hearts. That year, we celebrated Armistice Day for the first time, commemorating the one-year anniversary of the end of World War I that came on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Then, in 1954, President Eisenhower renamed it Veterans […]

Army veteran Tom Britzman remembered the way CalVet stood behind his in-laws when a levee broke and the Feather River flooded their Yuba City home at Christmastime in 1955. “My (World War I veteran) father-in-law and mother-in-law had four feet of water in their home,” Britzman said. “CalVet took care of getting their house redone.” […]

Six weeks before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a not-so-subtle message indicating the United States was ramping up for war. On November 1, 1941 – 79 years ago today – he signed Executive Order 8929, which put the U.S. Coast Guard under the Navy’s control, a moved usually restricted to […]

Haunted Hornet

ALAMEDA – Two small flashlights, resting several feet apart on the darkened mess deck, suddenly lit up. A third flashlight, at the opposite end of the room, joined in. All by themselves. Then the flashlights went off again, repeating this phenomenon throughout the evening and again, all by themselves. Did they really go on and […]

A soldier raising the American flag.

For four days in October 1944, American and Japanese naval forces slugged it out in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The battle was part of the Allied forces retaking of the Philippine Islands, which the Japanese had captured early in 1942. It represented the largest sea battle in all of World War II, and perhaps […]