Category Benefits

Feature art for WordPress article, headshot of servicemember Kanwarpreet Singh.

WITH CALVET’S HELP, SIKH SOLDIER FINDS NATIONAL GUARD RELIGIOUSLY ACCOMMODATING

When Kanwarpreet Singh came to the United States from India four years ago, he knew he wanted to serve his new country. Military service, he said, is important to members of the Sikh faith no matter where they live. However, he would need some help to join any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and […]

Group shot of the Veterans Division team at the CalVet Leadership Summit 2022.

VETERANS DAY IN THE BOOKS? AT CALVET, EVERY DAY IS A NEW PAGE WHEN IT COMES TO SERVING THEM

The parades and picnics are over. Speeches made and proclamations read. The American flags that lined the streets throughout the country and California are neatly folded, stored until the next national holiday. Veterans Day – America’s annual day of thanking veterans for defending this country and the freedoms our Constitution guarantees – is in the […]

Famous photo of Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry.

GO AHEAD, MAKE MY VETERANS DAY: WHEN FORT ORD WAS A SPRINGBOARD TO HOLLYWOOD

From World War I through the first Gulf War, Fort Ord was a U.S. Army base known for producing soldiers. Today, it is home to CalVet’s California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery and also to Cal State University-Monterey Bay, among other things. For a few years in the early 1950s, however, the outpost on the Monterey […]

Incarcerated veterans listen to benefits presentation at Mule Creek State Prison presentation.

THE ‘THANK-YOU’ NOTES THAT MEAN SO MUCH TO CALVET’S ANALYSTS HELPING INCARCERATED VETERANS

Steven Smith scrolled through his emails one day a few months ago, and came across one that simply moved him. Smith, a United States Navy Veteran, is among the seven veterans claims analysts working directly with incarcerated veterans in California’s 35 state prisons through CalVet’s Justice Involved Veterans Initiative. The analysts help veterans—many imprisoned for […]

CDCR prisoners walk down a road.

CALVET PROGRAM DOES JUSTICE TO THE CONCEPT OF HELPING INCARCERATED VETERANS

Mary Donovan, a veterans claims analyst with CalVet, talked benefits with about 30 veterans in the Sierra foothills community of Ione one recent morning. This wasn’t just any veterans’ group, though. All are inmates at Mule Creek State Prison, and among the more than 5,000 military veterans incarcerated in California’s 34 adult state prisons. Despite […]

Photo of a newspaper clipping "Senate defeats bonus, despite 10,000 veterans massed around Capitol.

STAR AND INTERNET POWER GAVE VETERANS A WIN WITHOUT THE VIOLENCE THAT MET THEIR PREDECESSORS 90 YEARS AGO

A few weeks ago, with celebrity Jon Stewart giving an impassioned speech on their behalf, U.S. military veterans pleaded for Congress to pass the $280 billion PACT Act to help those suffering from toxic burn pit exposures and other service-related health threats. Using the U.S. Capitol as a backdrop, 100 or so veterans staged a […]

CalVet Home Loans client and Army veteran M. Dust and his family.

CALVET HOME LOANS TEAM PROVIDES CALMING INFLUENCE, HAPPINESS FOR VETERAN STRESSED BY FINANCING SNAFU

CalVet Home Loans client and Army veteran Mark Dust will tell you that a bomb in the road in Iraq in 2005 and the bombshell news he encountered last month each wracked his nerves similarly. In 2005, infantryman Dust rode on the hood of a Humvee that suffered major damage, avoiding obliteration only because the […]

Waist high shot of veteran in front of his new home.

CALL TO RIGHT FRIEND AT RIGHT TIME PUTS VETERAN ON RIGHT TRACK TO CALVET HOME LOAN

One day while working at CalVet headquarters in Sacramento, Craig Hollis got a call from Rod Totton, a Marine veteran and longtime personal friend. Totton expressed frustrations at his attempts to finance a home he wanted to buy in the Sacramento area. A foreclosure from more than a decade ago, along with some other issues, […]

U.S. Army women taking her pledge and Navy women working on equipment on an aircraft carrier.

CALVET’S ANNUAL WOMEN VETERANS RECEPTION, TRAILBLAZER AWARDS SET – VIRTUALLY – FOR OCTOBER 27

The California Department of Veterans Affairs will host the 2021 Women Veterans Reception, including the presentations of the annual Trailblazer Awards, in a virtual event October 27, via Zoom. The event begins at 6 p.m., and will include remarks from CalVet Secretary Vito Imbasciani MD and Virginia Wimmer, CalVet’s new deputy secretary of Women Veterans […]

California coast photo with pelicans flying at sunset..

STATE PARKS AND RECREATION AREAS FREE TO DISTINGUISHED VETERAN PASS HOLDERS

California operates nearly 300 state parks and recreation areas that offer forests, beaches, buttes and boating, historic military sites, railroads and everything in between. Of those state properties, all but three – Columbia State Park in Tuolumne County, Great Valley Grasslands State Park in Merced County and Robert Louis Stevenson State Park in the Napa […]