Category History

Graphic of John Hancock including his signature.

HE SIGNED HIS JOHN HANCOCK RIGHT THERE, ON THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

Granted, this was more prevalent in the days before electronic digital signatures, but you’ve probably heard the term at some point: “Sign your John Hancock right here!” As we celebrate the United States of America’s 246th birthday, no signature on the Declaration of Independence – our first Hallmark moment – stands out bigger, bolder and […]

U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Misheff flies the American flag from the back of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter over southern Kandahar province.

COINCIDENTALLY, U.S. ARMY AND FLAG DAY SHARE JUNE 14 BIRTHDAYS

On the surface, it seems only fitting that June 14 represents both the United States Army’s birthday and Flag Day. After all, it’s difficult to envision one without the other. However, as compatible as they might be, pure coincidence offers the best explanation of why both are celebrated on June 14. Consider: On June 14, […]

American flags blowing in the breeze.

FROM BORDER TO BORDER, COAST TO SIERRA, CALIFORNIANS HAVE A MONUMENTAL DEDICATION TO MEMORIAL DAY

Near the small community of Weed, just 25 miles from the Oregon border, the Living Gardens Sculpture Memorial stands with Mount Shasta as a spectacular backdrop. Dedicated in 1994, its Memorial Wall bears the names of those from Siskiyou County who died while defending our nation and its Constitution. Some 870 miles south and just […]

Front elevation of the VHC-Fresno campus.

VIETNAM WAR VETERANS DAY: FOUR FRESNO VETERANS, FOUR DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

One went to Vietnam as an advisor, years before American forces went en masse. One had the greatest peanut butter and jelly sandwich of his life while manning a gun mount on a destroyer in the Tonkin Gulf. One tended to Vietnam War wounded at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. And another spent […]

Close up of veterans cutting a piece of cedar with a hand saw.

TIME CAPSULE BOX FOR NEW SKILLED NURSING FACILITY PROJECT IN BEST OF HANDS

YOUNTVILLE – On one recent afternoon, Gordon Kirby, with a steady hand and a thin saw blade, cut a notch in a thick piece of deodor cedar destined to become a footstool or small bench. The 75-year-old Navy veteran spends his days in the woodshop of the Creative Arts Center at the Veterans Home of […]

Front elevation drawing of the soon to be built Yountville Veterans Home skilled nursing facility.

TWO WOMEN VETERAN INNOVATORS LEFT THEIR MARKS ON YOUNTVILLE VETERANS HOME

As construction begins in earnest on the new $269 million skilled nursing facility at the Veterans Home of California-Yountville, CalVet recognizes and remembers two remarkable women who left their imprints on the 138-year-old campus. Mary Dunaway helped it grow in the 1950s. Virginia Mae Days, the only woman to lead the California Department of Veterans […]

SeaBees Can Do patch, Calvet logo and a 1940 enlistment poster showing an illustration of navy personnel setting rivets into steel.

SEABEES BUILDING BASES, ROADS, AIRSTRIPS, AND REPUTATION FOR PAST 80 YEARS

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor drew the United States officially into World War II, the Navy determined it would need to build bases, roads, and airstrips in combat zones – and at warp speed. But who would build them? Civilian contractors who built facilities at Wake Island were captured by Japanese soldiers 15 days […]

Picture of the US Capitol building with the words "we have the answers" written in a blue circle.

HOW DID YOU DO? GRADE YOURSELF ON CALVET’S PRESIDENTS DAY QUIZ

Yesterday, we offered our Presidents Day challenge: 10 questions to test your knowledge of U.S. presidents who served in some form of the military, from militias to decorated careers. Here are those questions again, with the answers: 

Picture of the US Capitol building with the words "take the quiz" written in a blue circle.

IN UNIFORM, IN OFFICE: TEST YOURSELF ON PRESIDENTS WHO SERVED IN MILITARY

With Presidents Day upon us, how well do you know your American presidents? Of the 46 U.S. presidents thus far, 31 performed some form of military service, from militias to decorated career. Of those 31, one was born in California. Three served during the Revolutionary War, four in the War of 1812, six in the […]

Resident veterans at the Ventura Veterans Home wearing their gold pins on red shirts.

‘RUPTURED DUCK’ HONORABLE DISCHARGE PINS FINDING LAPELS IN CALVET’S VETERANS HOMES

A few weeks ago, the Veterans Home of California-Ventura received a phone call from Lou Zayas, junior commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart chapter in Georgia. Zayas wanted to know the number of World War II veterans living at the Ventura Home. He wanted to send each one a “Ruptured Duck” lapel […]