Category History

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 […]

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 […]