At CalVet, we’re proud to serve the more than 1.7 million veterans who call California home. This week, we celebrate our dedicated CalVet team who make this possible.
For many of our employees, this is more than a job – it’s also a personal mission.
That’s the case for employees like Lisa Wilson, an associate accounting analyst and “Navy brat.”
“Since I never served in the military, my way of honoring my father is to serve the veterans of California,” said Wilson. “The veterans of this state, and the nation, are my family and I love to be part of the mission of serving California’s veterans and families.”
Here is just part of her father’s story: “My father, Chief Petty Officer Robert (Bob) Deakin, was the first American born child for his mother, a Danish immigrant. He had his first muster in November 1959 and served for 21 years in the Navy and Navy Reserve. His first ship was the USS Coral Sea (CV-43), also known as the “Ageless Warrior” for her long and distinguished career. He went on to serve on the USS Uvalde (AKA-88) and on the USS Ashtabula (AO-51), where he served four tours of Vietnam.”
Wilson is one of about 3,500 CalVet employees located throughout the Golden State. Together, their mission is to serve and honor all California veterans by connecting them and their families with their earned benefits through education, advocacy and direct services.
We are proud to be public servants and we are incredibly humbled to serve those who have served us all. Here are just some of the ways our employees serve California’s veterans.
Veterans Homes: CalVet employees care for nearly 2,500 veterans at eight state-run veterans homes. They provide skilled nursing care, make meals, organize recreational activities, and ensure that our veterans are treated with dignity and respect.
Cemeteries: Our staff manage three cemeteries in California, taking great care to provide a final resting place for veterans. They ensure grounds are well maintained, plan events to honor veterans, and work with veterans and families who want to plan in advance for burial benefits.
Veterans housing: For over 70 years, CalVet has offered simple and affordable farm and home loans to veterans and their families through programs with low-interest and little to no money down.
Our team is also working to help veterans who are struggling with homelessness by collaborating with multiple state, county and local agencies, nonprofits and a number of local builders to erect affordable housing options for veterans.
Furthermore, our CalVetREN program provides affordable home ownership to low-income veterans in enriched neighborhoods to create a wrap-around model of self-sufficiency and help our veterans establish success.
Education and Outreach: We have a highly trained team of experts in veteran services who spend every day talking with veterans and their family members to ensure that they are able to access the benefits they have earn through their military service. Our CalVet team is making an effort to reach out to groups that don’t typically access or use their benefits. This includes women veterans, Native American veterans, LGBTQ veterans and those living in rural areas.
Our newest work unit operates the California Transition Assistance Program (CalTAP) – the first state-run program of its kind. We’re now connecting with veterans before they separate from service and make the transition to civilian life. They’re currently traveling the state hosting workshops on 12 military installations, laying the groundwork to be able to serve California veterans every step of the way – from separation to college or employment, starting a family, retiring and beyond.
Public Service Recognition Week was established in 1985 to honor civil servants working at all levels of government.