Author Archives: Jeff Jardine

Nation’s oldest veterans home gets new look as 400 volunteers converge on Yountville

YOUNTVILLE – Areas of the nation’s oldest and largest veterans home just got a great new look and new facilities on June 19, thanks to more than 400 volunteers from Home Depot, Habitat for Humanity, the Tug McGraw Foundation, and others. They gave the 135-year-old Veterans Home of California-Yountville, owned and operated by the California […]

GI Bill’s 75th anniversary hits home for Valley veterans, CalVet

Like so many others who left the military for civilian life, Arthur Matedne wanted to return to college. The Navy veteran from Stockton was aware of the GI Bill and that he should take advantage of his earned benefits, but knew little about them. “Not a lot at all,” said Matedne, a 32-year-old who spent […]

Commander backs LGBTQ troops serving in CA National Guard

While the Trump Administration in effect has ordered the Department of Defense to ban transgender troops from serving in the U.S. military, LGBTQ troops in the California National Guard have a staunch defender in their Deputy Adjutant General, Major General Matthew Beevers. Headquartered in Sacramento, Beevers said he clearly values the service of transgender troops, […]

Memories of D-Day and beyond: Veterans Home resident got there early, stayed late

Nick Scordino seems to have a knack for notable days. A resident of the Veterans Home of California-West Los Angeles, he turned 97 years old on Memorial Day 2019. His last day in the Army Air Corps happened to be Thanksgiving Day 1945, six months after the Germans surrendered in World War II. And, according […]

Landmark riot launches LGBTQ movement. Fifty years of activism leads to LGBTQ Veterans Inclusion Forum.

June 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York. For six days in 1969, LGBTQ individuals who frequented the Stonewall Inn, a gay and lesbian bar in Manhattan’s West Village, rebelled against the harassment by the New York police who kept raiding it. They resisted, long before “resist” became a political […]

CalVet co-sponsoring Tribal Veteran Advocate training in Coarsegold

Nearly half of the American Indian and Alaska Native tribal leaders, have served in the American military. With 109 federally recognized tribes, California is home to a large number of Native American veterans; but they are dramatically underserved as a population. “Upon their return from duty, they aren’t likely to seek out assistance or benefits,” […]

CalVet Secretary to speak at blessing of statue honoring American Indians and Alaska Natives on Memorial Day

Vito Imbasciani MD, Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs will be among the speakers at the blessing of a larger-than-life-size statue honoring American Indian and Alaska Native U.S. military veterans in Riverside on Memorial Day. The dedication and blessing will begin at the Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, California, at […]

Putting the “In Memory of” back into Memorial Day

The Northern California Veterans Cemetery rests on a hillcrest in the small community of Igo, near Redding. A row of U.S. flags greets visitors as they pass through the gates. With Mount Lassen offering a spectacular backdrop, the lawns are green and lush. Headstones stand in precise rows. Operated by the California Department of Veterans […]

Major John E. Cleckner left legacy of veteran advocacy in Northern California

REDDING – Retired Major John E. Cleckner, Sr., who matched his decorated career in Army Special Forces with a lifelong dedication in retirement to helping military veterans, died May 11 in Redding. He was 81. Cleckner served 22 years, two months in the Infantry, including tours of duty in Vietnam. He received a Purple Heart […]

Expo in Fresno to teach disabled veterans business owners how to get state and federal contracts

David Ruiz of Fresno served as a cryptologist aboard the USS Midway during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-80. When he left the Navy years later, he realized that the words coming out of other people’s mouths seemed somewhat cryptic to him. Hearing loss will do that. “Tinnitus,” he said. He waited for years to […]