Author Archives: Jeff Jardine

CalVet logo and a headshot of Virginia Wimmer with the American and California flags behind her.

SIX MONTHS IN, DEPUTY SECRETARY WIMMER HAS VISION FOR WOMEN VETERANS AFFAIRS

In August 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Virginia Wimmer as CalVet’s Deputy Secretary of Women Veterans Affairs at CalVet. A veteran who spent 26 years in the United States Air Force, Wimmer left the service in 2012. She then began her new career as a veteran service officer with Solano County and then was appointed […]

Front elevation drawing of the soon to be built Yountville Veterans Home skilled nursing facility.

TWO WOMEN VETERAN INNOVATORS LEFT THEIR MARKS ON YOUNTVILLE VETERANS HOME

As construction begins in earnest on the new $269 million skilled nursing facility at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville, CalVet recognizes and remembers two remarkable women who left their imprints on the 138-year-old campus. Mary Dunaway helped it grow in the 1950s. Virginia Mae Days, the only woman to lead the California Department of Veterans […]

SeaBees Can Do patch, Calvet logo and a 1940 enlistment poster showing an illustration of navy personnel setting rivets into steel.

SEABEES BUILDING BASES, ROADS, AIRSTRIPS, AND REPUTATION FOR PAST 80 YEARS

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor drew the United States officially into World War II, the Navy determined it would need to build bases, roads, and airstrips in combat zones – and at warp speed. But who would build them? Civilian contractors who built facilities at Wake Island were captured by Japanese soldiers 15 days […]

Antwanisha Williams

IS THERE A DOCTORATE IN THE HOUSE TO HELP WOMEN IN THE MILITARY? NAVY VET SAYS ‘YES’

Antwanisha Williamson, a CalVet Trailblazer Award recipient in October 2021, spent 18 years in the Navy, and was deployed immediately to the Middle East after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was one of her four overseas deployments during her Navy career that included tours of duty aboard the carrier USS Carl Vinson. Likewise, […]

Picture of the US Capitol building with the words "we have the answers" written in a blue circle.

HOW DID YOU DO? GRADE YOURSELF ON CALVET’S PRESIDENTS DAY QUIZ

Yesterday, we offered our Presidents Day challenge: 10 questions to test your knowledge of U.S. presidents who served in some form of the military, from militias to decorated careers. Here are those questions again, with the answers: 

Picture of the US Capitol building with the words "take the quiz" written in a blue circle.

IN UNIFORM, IN OFFICE: TEST YOURSELF ON PRESIDENTS WHO SERVED IN MILITARY

With Presidents Day upon us, how well do you know your American presidents? Of the 46 U.S. presidents thus far, 31 performed some form of military service, from militias to decorated career. Of those 31, one was born in California. Three served during the Revolutionary War, four in the War of 1812, six in the […]

The cover of a hand made card that reads Happy Valentines Day.

REDDING HOME’S CUPID CREW OFFERING HEARTFELT VALENTINE’S DAY WISHES TO OTHER SENIORS

A card. A message. A gift of friendship. It doesn’t matter that it will go to a total stranger. To the members of the Cupid Crew at the Veterans Home of California-Redding, giving bits of their time and selves to someone who might have no one is satisfying, even if they never get to know […]

Security officer at the front desk of the Veterans Home reads a copy of the Eagle Falls Gazette.

RESURRECTED NEWSLETTER GOES ‘VIRAL’ AT BARSTOW VETERANS HOME

Like so many of the other veterans and residents living in CalVet’s eight Veterans Homes of California, the folks at the Barstow Home found the pandemic and its safety protocols to be, well, restricting. It meant spending lots of time in their rooms, unable to visit with family and friends because the Homes were in […]

Resident veterans at the Ventura Veterans Home wearing their gold pins on red shirts.

‘RUPTURED DUCK’ HONORABLE DISCHARGE PINS FINDING LAPELS IN CALVET’S VETERANS HOMES

A few weeks ago, the Veterans Home of California-Ventura received a phone call from Lou Zayas, junior commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart chapter in Georgia. Zayas wanted to know the number of World War II veterans living at the Ventura Home. He wanted to send each one a “Ruptured Duck” lapel […]

Black and white photo close up of soldiers faces during a USO show during the Korea War

USO CELEBRATES 81 YEARS OF ENTERTAINING TROOPS, BRINGING HOPE, AND BOOSTING MORALE

Eighty-one years ago today, at the behest of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, six social service organizations joined forces to create the United Service Organizations, or USO. With America’s entry into World War II still 10 months away. Those organizations—the Salvation Army, Young Men’s Christian Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, National Catholic Community Services, National Travelers […]