Author Archives: Jeff Jardine

HEROES IN OUR HOMES — BREAKING THE CYCLE OF BOREDOM

CalVet Connect highlights another hero among the staff members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in caring for our veterans and their spouses at our Veterans Homes of California during the COVID-19 pandemic. BREAKING THE CYCLE OF BOREDOM WITH A DRIVE-BY PARADE Washing hands. Wearing a mask. Watching your distance. These […]

Mother'sDay, Old Style Card. The Best of Mothers

A MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND THAT SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES AT VETERANS HOME OF CALIFORNIA-REDDING

Most Mother’s Days, Carol Berry’s children come to visit her at the Veterans Homes of California-Redding. Hugs. Lunch. Time together.  Not last year’s, though. The COVID-19 pandemic prohibited Mother’s Day visits in 2020, just as it did for all other holidays and special days at the eight homes owned and operated by the California Department of Veterans Affairs.  “The whole world was turned […]

HOW CINCO DE MAYO PLAYED A GRANDE ROLE IN THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

On May 5, 1862, a vastly outnumbered force of about 2,000 Mexican locals repelled and defeated 6,000 well-trained French troops in what became known as the Battle of Puebla. The victory is celebrated as Cinco de Mayo in Puebla, a city southeast of Mexico City. It’s also recognized in Veracruz, the port on the Gulf […]

Real heroes, Code Blue in the COVID Red Zone nurses.

HEROES IN OUR HOMES – CODE BLUE IN A RED ZONE

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff members at CalVet’s eight Veterans Homes of California have consistently gone beyond the call of duty to care for our veterans and their spouses. They are a huge part of CalVet’s success minimizing the spread of the virus at our Homes. Therefore, it is my honor and privilege to […]

Last helicopter at the Saigon Embassy, 1975.

THE LUCKY HAT THAT PROTECTED THREE MARINES, INCLUDING ONE OF THE LAST ONES TO EVACUATE SAIGON 46 YEARS AGO TODAY

When U.S. Marine Richard Paddock left for State Department security duty at the Saigon Embassy in August 1974, his Vietnam veteran father brought him a battle-tested going-away gift. “He came to San Francisco to see me off,” Paddock said. Just before boarding, dad – Hugh Paddock – handed him a beige-colored, floppy bush hat. “This […]

CHINESE AMERICAN VETERAN RECEIVES CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL AT CALVET’S WEST LA VETERANS HOME

Wellington Yee Kwan, a World War II veteran and resident of the Veterans Home of California-West Los Angeles, received the Congressional Gold Medal on April 18 during a private ceremony at the Home. Kwan, who is 98, can be counted among the 20,000 Chinese American World War II veterans eligible to receive the medal for […]

THE NATION CALLED, AND CALIFORNIANS RESPONDED TO FIGHT IN THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR

On this day in 1898, President William McKinley issued a call for 125,000 volunteer troops to fight in the Spanish-American War in the Philippines. When the explosion of the USS Maine in Cuba’s Havana harbor left 268 U.S. sailors dead on February 15 of that year, media moguls including William Randolph Hearst blamed Spain – […]

ARMY, CALIFORNIA GUARD STEPPED UP WHEN 1906 SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE, FIRE KNOCKED THE CITY DOWN

On the morning of April 18, 1906 – 115 years – the ground beneath San Francisco shook angrily and violently. Buildings fell. Fires broke out, fueled by severed gas lines, and allowed to spread by fractured water lines. The San Francisco earthquake, all 7.8 magnitude of it, sent a rude wakeup call to the mostly […]

APRIL 15: A TAXING DAY FOR MOST, A TAXIING DAY FOR FIRST B-52 PROTOTYPE IN 1952

On this day in 1952, Boeing’s first B-52 prototype made its first test flight. Three years later, the Air Force added the first B-52 to its fleet at Castle Air Force Base near Merced, and the plane is still considered the backbone of the American bomber fleet. The so-called Stratofortress was designed to be a […]

A TRUE AMERICAN PATRIOT, MARLENE DIETRICH’S FIRST USO SHOW HAPPENED 77 YEARS AGO TODAY

On April 11 in 1944, German-born actress Marlene Dietrich staged the first of her many performances for United States troops serving overseas in a campaign that ultimately led the USO to call her “… one of the Most Patriotic Women in World War II.” Dietrich, who once publicly called Adolf Hitler an “idiot,” refused to […]