Author Archives: Jeff Jardine

Veteran Kenneth James went from living on Skid Row to owning a home thanks to CalVet Home Loans.

FROM SKID ROW TO HOME OWNERSHIP: ANOTHER CALVET HOME LOAN SUCCESS STORY

Kenneth James is happy with his new neighbors. So what if some have four legs and antlers and others use their rattles to let him know they are visiting? As long as they follow social distancing protocols, they are welcome around his home in Bear Valley Springs, near Tehachapi, in the mountains southeast of Bakersfield. […]

Presidents Day 2021

HOW SOME PAST PRESIDENTS SPENT THEIR PRESIDENTS DAY

Presidents keep on working on the national holiday that many U.S. citizens have off.

Vietnam War veteran Phillip Willis discusses racial discrimination during Black History Month.

A THIRST FOR EQUALITY: DYING NAVY VETERAN’S STORY RESONATES AS BLACK HISTORY MONTH LESSON

One summer afternoon in the late 1950s, eight-year-old Phillip Willis, Jr. took a break from mowing lawns at a home in Jackson, Mississippi. Having worked up a thirst, Willis asked his employer, a white woman, for a glass of water.   That simple and reasonable request required minimal physical effort on the woman’s part. Mainly, it required mere humanity and compassion for a young Black kid toiling in the stifling heat and humidity. She begrudgingly gave him the water, Willis said, along with a not-so-subtle reminder that he […]

Navy Captain Bruce McCandless II became the first person ever to fly untethered in outer space. - Space Shuttle Challenger.

CALIFORNIA ASTRONAUT FIRST TO FLY IN SPACE – NO STRINGS ATTACHED – 37 YEARS AGO TODAY

Imagine, being in outer space with no secure connection to the mothership. A bit unnerving, perhaps? Too Hollywood for you? Decades before George Clooney vanished into the galaxy in “Gravity” and Matt Damon took his chances in “The Martian,” Navy Captain Bruce McCandless II became the first person ever to fly untethered in outer space. […]

Julia Ward Howe wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

FREEDOM’S CIVIL WAR ANTHEM, ‘THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC,’ FIRST APPEARED 160 YEARS AGO TODAY

As the Civil War raged in 1861, Julia Ward Howe penned a poem that first appeared in The Atlantic monthly magazine on February 1, 1862.  With February being Black History Month, the importance of her 160-year-old work continues to resonate today. Titled “Battle Hymn of the Republic” by the magazine’s editor, Howe’s poem defined the […]

NEARING THE CENTURY MARK, CALVET HOME LOANS SHARES THE SECRETS TO SUCCESS

For nearly 100 years CalVet Home Loans has helped veterans build, rebuild, and own homes, and it will continue to do so for well into the future.

Shoichi Yokoi survived on an island for 26 years after World War II ended.

WORLD WAR II ENDED 49 YEARS AGO TODAY FOR THE LAST JAPANESE STRAGGLER ON GUAM

To most everyone else on the planet, World War II formally ended on September 2, 1945, when representatives of the Japanese government boarded the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay and signed the papers of surrender. One Japanese soldier on Guam, however, did not get the memo – or apparently any of the leaflets, or heard […]

CalVet LINC

MEET THE LINCs: ‘LINC’-ING VETERANS TO SERVICES REQUIRES NEW APPROACHES FOR CALVET’S EIGHT REGIONAL OUTREACH PROFESSIONALS

California’s nearly 1.6 million veterans share another common link – eight of them, in fact. The California Department of Veterans Affairs’ Local Interagency Network Coordinators, or LINCs, support veterans by connecting them to their earned benefits and services.

Treaty of Paris

JANUARY 14, 1784: THE DAY THE UNITED STATES BECAME A SOVEREIGN NATION

On January 14, 1784, the Continental Congress officially declared the sovereignty of the United States of America by ratifying the Paris Treaty.

General John Pershing pins the Distinguished Service Cross medal on 1LT George Abramson in 1922. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

SEVEN ON CALVET’S MEDAL OF HONOR WALL ALSO EARNED DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS

Seven Californians received both the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. Their names grace the Medal of Honor Hall in California’s Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters in downtown Sacramento.