Author Archives: Jeff Jardine

COLONEL IRMA COOPER DEFIED THE ODDS

A leader throughout her long and distinguished military career, CalVet turns to Irma Hagans Cooper Colonel (retired) to take us across the bridge from Black History Month to Women’s History Month. The Los Angeles resident spent 30 years in the Army, much of it running medical facilities and commanding companies that went on to serve […]

LISA DANIELS LIVES TO TELL STORIES OF AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE MILITARY

February is Black History Month, a time to highlight the contributions and achievements made by African Americans throughout history. But it’s an easy leap to say that for Lisa Daniels of Sacramento, every month is Black History Month and to go one step beyond: Every day is Black History Day. Daniels turned what began as […]

VETERAN HOMES ARCHITECT LARRY SILLMAN LEAVES LEGACY OF CREATIVITY AND COMFORT

Architect Larry Sillman might be easing into retirement, but he leaves his footprints and blueprints all over the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) Veterans Homes of California (VHC) system. The 75-year-old Vietnam veteran from Chula Vista designed four of the eight homes operated by CalVet. He also played a role in the creation of […]

BUFFALO SOLDIERS ONCE PROTECTED YOSEMITE AND SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARKS

As Black History Month continues, CalVet recognizes the African American “Buffalo Soldiers” who once protected Yosemite and Sequoia national parks in the central Sierra in the years before the national parks systems was established in 1916. One day many summers ago, Yosemite Park Ranger and Historian Shelton Johnson had just finished his portrayal of a […]

Once ‘Hidden Figures,” African American women now very visible in space program

As Black History Month continues throughout February, CalVet salutes the African American women who played and continue to play vital roles in the United States space program. Among them were the so-called “human computers” of the early aerospace days. Their calculations made manned space travel possible. These women incorporated elements including vehicle weight, the rocket’s […]

Montford Point Marines fought a two-front war: the enemy abroad, prejudice at home

In celebrating Black History Month throughout February, CalVet will share several stories about African American service members and veterans. To begin the month-long recognition, we first pay tribute to the Montford Point Marines. A small number of African Americans served in the Marines from 1776 until they were banned from the Corps in 1792. That […]

Medal of Honor recipient from California gave his life to save others in Vietnam 53 years ago today

At the California Department of Veterans Affairs’ headquarters in downtown Sacramento, the Medal of Honor Hall pays tribute to all of the Californians who received the nation’s most revered military honor. Each recipient’s story provides a compelling description of bravery and valor. Among those decorated, Army Specialist Fourth Class Donald Ward Evans, Jr., was killed […]

CalVet Secretary Imbasciani reappointed by Governor Newsom, will continue to lead agency dedicated to helping veterans

CalVet is excited to announce that Secretary Vito Imbasciani MD has been reappointed to the position by Governor Gavin Newsom. “I thank Governor Newsom for the opportunity to continue to lead CalVet,” Imbasciani said. “It remains an honor for me to serve California’s nearly 1.6 million veterans. I am fueled by the sacred mission of […]

King’s impacts on the civil rights movement still alive nearly 52 years after his death

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 91 years old this past week. A man who preached peace and equality through non-violent protest, who received the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, and who spoke out forthrightly against the Vietnam War, died in a most violent way when he was shot by an assassin at the […]

USS Arkansas made her mark in World War II before becoming target in A-bomb testing

On January 14, 1911, the USS Arkansas was the largest U.S. battleship launched from the shipyards in Camden, N.J. The 26,000-ton Wyoming class battleship, commissioned in September 1912, went on to work with the British Brand Fleet before and throughout World War I. The Arkansas then served as a training ship for Naval Academy midshipmen, […]