Category History

August 14 celebrates Native Americans’ roles as “Code Talkers” during World War II

During World War II, Native Americans played a key role in the war against the Axis. They confounded the enemy by using the Navajo language to send secret information from the front lines. The enemy could hear the messages, which they couldn’t decipher because the Navajo language was unfamiliar to them. Consequently, these “code talkers,” […]

A WW II victory so historically important that it merits two commemorative days

How important was the Allied defeat of Japan that ended World War II in 1945? So important that V-J Day – V standing for Victory, J for Japan – is commemorated not once but twice in less than a month. The first – August 14 – is the day Japan admitted defeat by Allied forces, […]

Today is National Purple Heart Day, honoring those wounded or killed in wars, conflicts

August 7 is National Purple Heart Day, honoring the recipients of America’s oldest award for military merit. Created by General George Washington as the Badge of Merit in 1782, it was awarded for “any singularly meritorious action” in battle. That changed in 1931, when, at the behest of General Douglas MacArthur, the U.S. War Department […]

New administrator brings “will-do” attitude to Veterans Home of California-Yountville

Lisa Peake believes that whether you are sent to Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else, attitude makes the difference between drudgery and doable. “If you say ‘this deployment is going to be horrible,’ it will,” said Peake, who retired from the California National Guard as a “full-bird colonel” in May, ending a 30-year career in […]

Veterans with CalVet home loans among those sorting out their futures in Paradise

Navy veteran Jim Davis saw an ominous sky as he headed out to the woodwork shop at his home in Paradise one morning in November 2018. “A really strange cloud,” he said. Davis sensed immediately that it soon would be raining fire, not water. He packed up what he could, then quickly left his property. […]

Bond-ing family’s tradition of public service with CalVet’s Veterans Home in Ventura

When 49-year-old Julian Bond was recently appointed by Governor Newsom to run the Veterans Home of California-Ventura, CalVet got more than just an experienced administrator. It received a retired Army colonel from a family with a long, distinguished, and storied history of public service. His great-grandfather, James Bond, was born into slavery during the Civil […]

Military veterans, chefs mobilize for CalVet’s 7th Annual MRE Cooking Challenge

Can military sustenance become scrumptious? Can drab be transformed into delectable? See for yourself at CalVet’s 7th Annual MRE Cooking Challenge, Thursday July 18 at the California State Fair, an event that promises to be tastefully done. The Challenge pairs military veterans and noted local chefs as they look to impress a panel of culinary […]

The red, white, and blue blur of U.S. Flag Code etiquette

As we celebrate our nation’s 243rd birthday this Fourth of July, our patriotism will be evident with parades, picnics, patio barbecues, and pyrotechnics. So proudly we will hail, amid a sea of star-spangled banners. But in these heartfelt salutes to Old Glory, many might first want to familiarize themselves with the “dos” and “don’ts” of […]

Memories of D-Day and beyond: Veterans Home resident got there early, stayed late

Nick Scordino seems to have a knack for notable days. A resident of the Veterans Home of California-West Los Angeles, he turned 97 years old on Memorial Day 2019. His last day in the Army Air Corps happened to be Thanksgiving Day 1945, six months after the Germans surrendered in World War II. And, according […]