Category History

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 […]

Two old recruiting posters for the USMC Reserves.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS RESERVES – 106 AND AGING, GRATEFULLY

With America’s impending involvement in World War I, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Naval Appropriations Act on August 29, 1916. In doing so, he created the Marine Corps Reserve to join in the fighting on land, sea and in the air. Reserves flew with the British to attack enemy supply lines. They fought in major […]

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 […]

A toddler wearing a yellow dress made from the fabric of a WWII parachute.

Parachute that Brought Supplies to American Pows Now Dressing up Display at Redding Veterans Home

A yellow toddler’s dress might be the last thing you’d expect to find showcased at a veterans home. Photographs, medals, battlefield souvenirs, or old newspaper clippings? Sure. But a little yellow silk dress? Yet, there is displayed in the Hall of Honor deep inside the Veterans Homes of California-Redding, on loan from the family of […]

U.S. Marines play music during a ceremony.

Happy Rebirth-Day to the United States Marine Corps, with Another Cake in November

Happy rebirth-day to the United States Marine Corps! Rebirth-day? Let us explain. The Marine Corps traditionally celebrates its birthday on November 10 each year, recognizing the decision by the Second Continental Congress in 1775 to establish two battalions of Marines. They were known then as the Continental Marines, because the United States was still in […]