Category History

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 […]

From sea to shining sea: United States Navy celebrating 244th birthday

Here’s a trivia question: Which is older – the United States Navy or the United States of America? If you guessed the Navy, you’d be correct. You might wonder, how did the creation of the Navy precede the formation of the nation? Why not? The Navy even preceded itself. In the summer of 1775, General […]

Yountville Home vet recalls World War II POW days, now exercises his freedoms daily

YOUNTVILLE – Most mornings, Albert Freitas climbs aboard his “buggy” and motors down to the bus stop in front of the Veterans Home of California-Yountville. The 98-year-old World War II veteran loads the electric chariot onto a bus and heads to a busy shopping center a few miles away in Napa. There, he sips a […]

United States Air Force celebrates 72 years of flying solo as a military branch

The U.S. Air Force celebrates its 72nd birthday today. But this birthday hardly represents the birth of aviation in the U.S. military. That actually began during the Civil War, when both sides used  hot air balloons for aerial reconnaissance. It instead recognizes the day the Air Force became its own branch, free of control of […]

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 […]

Veterans faring well in California’s longest job growth streak in decades

Labor Day – the day America celebrates its workers – offers an opportunity to see how our military veterans are doing in the California labor market. The answer? Quite well, it seems. The number of unemployed veterans in California declined from 65,200 to 20,800 between October 2015 and October 2018. The labor force, whether for […]

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 […]