Category History

WWII glider in flight over California.

GLIDING INTO 2023, 70 YEARS TO THE DAY MILITARY GLIDERS SAILED OFF INTO RETIREMENT

As we glide into 2023, we pay tribute to the military glider – one of America’s silent weapons of World War II – that was removed from the U.S. Army’s air fleet on this day 70 years ago. Gliders were lightweight, engineless airplanes towed by cables into the skies by much bigger, motored aircraft, then […]

A soldier walks in one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces.

WHEN THEY CELEBRATED HANUKKAH, OTHER JEWISH HOLIDAYS IN SADDAM’S OLD DIGS

Shortly after U.S. troops captured Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in December 2003, a Jewish-American woman serving in the U.S. military received a care package from home. It included a menorah, candles, and a “Happy Hanukkah” card. That she received it isn’t unusual. Military personnel frequently receive packages from family members or friends in time for […]

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 2022, a black and white photo of the USS Shaw exploding during the attach on Pearl Harbor.

PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE DAY: IMAGES LEFT TO TELL THE STORY ONCE THE FINAL VOICES GO SILENT

On Veterans Day last month, USS Arizona Navy veteran Lou Conter told a gathering in Grass Valley about the fateful events of December 7, 1941—the day the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked Pearl Harbor. Of the 2,403 Americans killed, 1,177 were his Arizona shipmates. The attack also damaged or destroyed 19 ships including eight […]

A group photo of the Hutchenson family.

NEW ROUND OF BOND SALES WILL HELP MORE VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES TO ENJOY HOMEOWNERSHIP

Since its creation in 1921, CalVet’s Home Loans program has helped more than 440,000 veterans and their families achieve the American dream of homeownership, loaning more than $8.4 billion–and counting–through its first 101 years. That “counting” will continue for years to come after a recent bond sale provided an additional $255.5 million to help more […]

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 […]

The American and Californian flags.

CALVET’S VETERANS DAY POSTER DEFINES OUR MISSION AND PURPOSE

As a nation, we rely upon our armed forces to protect and defend the Constitution and the rights and freedoms it guarantees. Our servicemembers risk their lives for the reward of maintaining our democracy; even putting this solemn duty ahead of their own wellbeing, families, and loved ones. Yet, over the decades, veterans have had […]

Ghostly photo of the few ships still considered part of the Ghost Fleet.

A FLEETING LOOK AT THE ‘GHOST SHIPS’ THAT ONCE DOMINATED SUISUN BAY

With Halloween upon us, CalVet is seeing ghosts again – or at least imagining them. In October 2020, CalVet Connect introduced you to the spooky emanations residing in the bowels of the haunted USS Hornet, an aircraft carrier docked in Alameda. This time, it’s the so-called “Ghost Fleet” that once dominated Suisun Bay near Benicia […]

Head shot of Shadowdancer Ortega Melendez, Chumash native and U.S. veteran.

CELEBRATING NATIVE AMERICAN DAY AT CAPITOL TODAY, AND EVERY DAY AT VENTURA VETERANS HOME

Today, hundreds of Native Americans representing many tribes and nations throughout California will converge on the State Capitol’s West Lawn to celebrate their heritage, cultures, and contributions. What began under Governor Culbert Olsen as “Indian Day” in 1939, became “California Indian Day” under Governor Ronald Reagan in 1968, is now “California Native American Day.” It […]

CalVet Logo with Air Force fighter planes.s

U.S. AIR FORCE CELEBRATES 75 YEARS OF FLYING SOLO IN THE WILD BLUE YONDER

Happy 75th birthday to the United States Air Force!  The Air Force became its own branch of the U.S. military after President Truman signed the National Security Act on September 18, 1947. Aviation had been part of the U.S. military since the Civil War, and Allies relied on aircraft throughout both World Wars. The Navy […]

President Gerald Ford enters a waiting car.

A TRIVIAL PURSUIT THIS LABOR DAY CONNECTS PRESIDENT FORD, TOKYO ROSE, AND CULT MEMBER

Do a little digging, and connections are bound to surface. Today – September 5 – certainly supports that theory, and this time it involves former President Gerald R. Ford. How so? On September 5, 1945, an American-born woman of Japanese ancestry named Iva Toguri D’Aquino was arrested in Japan and soon after returned to the […]