Category CalVet Team

New CalVet deputy secretary for minority veterans affairs brings skills in triplicate

The California Department of Veterans Affairs hit a trifecta last month when Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Xóchitl Rodriguez Murillo to be the agency’s deputy secretary for minority veterans affairs. Murillo is a minority veteran and a U.S. Army reservist who is well-versed in the machinations of the military, having served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She’s […]

The monumental task behind building the California Veterans Memorial at the Capitol

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The dozens of images etched onto the California Veterans Memorial in downtown Sacramento’s Capitol Park say not only a thousand words, but might also leave visitors with a thousand questions. Who were the men and women depicted on the 28-foot-tall obelisk? Where and when did they […]

‘You’re out of uniform!’ And that’s a good thing at Operation Dress Code, where women veterans can dress for success

SAN DIEGO – Five years after leaving the U.S. Coast Guard, Franchesca Avila emerged from Central Arkansas University with a degree in family and consumer science. Then came time to get a job as a civilian. The tight budget of a new graduate didn’t leave much extra cash for the attire she needed to interview […]

Pioneer, Trailblazer: Virginia Mae Days was one of a kind as CalVet director

NOTE: This is the second in a periodical series of stories about CalVet, its history, and its programs. In a secluded hallway inside the California Department of Veterans Affairs building in Sacramento, rows of photographs reflect the succession of CalVet’s leadership, from its inception in 1946 to present. One portrait stands out, but not because […]

Twenty names, including first woman, etched into California Vietnam Veterans Memorial

SACRAMENTO – Like so many others who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, U.S. Army Specialist 5 Adrienne Lee Schamp was exposed to Agent Orange, a powerful herbicide used to defoliate forests and crops that provided cover for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops. She worked in Army finance at Long Binh and […]

CalVet Women Veterans award winner Captain Elizabeth L. Hillman truly a trailblazer

In 2013, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee appointed former Air Force Captain Elizabeth L. Hillman, an expert on sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination in the military, to serve on a panel probing sexual assault in the military. The panel exposed how little progress had been made since the so-called “Tailhook” scandal of 1991, when […]

California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery to receive national honor for quality

SEASIDE – The Central California Coast Veterans Cemetery (CCCVC) in Seaside has been selected to receive the prestigious Organizational Excellence Award from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA). The cemetery, which opened in 2016, is operated by the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). It was jointly developed and constructed by the USDVA, […]

CalVet officials participating in California Native American Day at State Capitol

Native American and soon-to-be Oscar recipient Wes Studi will be the keynote speaker September 27 during the 52nd annual California Native American Day, on the west steps of the State Capitol. The celebration of California Native American culture begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at 2 p.m. The event is open to the public, and […]

CalVet’s Veterans Homes now among nation’s best skilled nursing facilities

Before he accepted the appointment from Governor Brown to head the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) in 2015, Vito Imbasciani MD made his rounds to some of the Veterans Homes of California. “I wanted to see what I was getting myself into,” he quipped. With decades of experience as a physician, including 27 as […]

Veteran at CalVet’s Redding Home puts heart, paint brushes to work for Carr fire victims

REDDING – As the Carr fire raged through Northern California in July 2018, residents of the Veterans Home of California-Redding began painting signs for the men and women fighting the conflagration. Vietnam-era veteran and artist Michael VanCleemput, was among those who was asked to contribute. “I agreed, but I needed an inspiration for an appropriate […]