Category Minority Veterans

EL SOLDADO

Those who vandalized the El Soldado statue at the State Capitol on July 4 reflected a lack of understanding as to what it represents. The statue, formally known as the California Mexican-American Veterans Memorial, honors Mexican-American soldiers who fought and died during World War II. “This simple monument was built by mothers, daughters, and families […]

CALVET BOARD MEMBER DUNNING AT THE FOREFRONT OF ENDING “DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL”

Zoe Dunning would love to be able to say that with one stroke of President Barack Obama’s pen he ended her 18-year fight for equality in the United States Military by signing the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” three days before Christmas in 2010. That, however, would be far too simplistic in the world […]

JUNETEENTH CELEBRATIONS GO VIRTUAL FOR 2020

On June 19, 1865 – more than two months after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox – Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas. Why? To tell 250,000 enslaved people that they were now free. Thus, Juneteenth (combining June and the Nineteenth) became the day each year African Americans across the nation celebrate that […]

ASIAN AMERICAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH: CAMPAIGN TO HONOR CHINESE AMERICAN WORLD WAR II VETS WITH CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL CONTINUES

During an 18-month stretch of World War II, three brothers of a Chinese American family from Los Angeles all joined the United States Military. Herbert Tom went into the U.S. Army in January 1943, serving in the Army Air Corps’ 9th Air Force in Europe until after the war’s end. The eldest brother, George W. […]

WOMEN VETERANS GETTING HELP FROM A VET WHO KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT MINEFIELDS IN TRANSITION TO CIVILIAN LIFE

For a significant portion of her career in the U.S. Marine Corps, Jodie Grenier collected and used information about enemy threats in order to minimize the danger to her fellow troops in Iraq. That included knowing whether and where minefields and weapon systems existed. “My job, essentially, was to collect information to mitigate threats to […]

IT’S A WRAP: VETERANS GETTING NEW HOMES ON “EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION” SHOW AIRING SUNDAY, MARCH 15

A partnership between the California Department of Veterans Affairs Residential Enriched Neighborhood Program (CalVet REN), the city of Palmdale, and Homes 4 Families Veteran Enriched Neighborhoods® that provides homes to military veterans, will be featured at 8 p.m. Sunday in an episode of HGTV Channel’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. “This is an amazing partnership and […]

PIONEER, TRAILBLAZER: VIRGINIA MAE DAYS WAS ONE OF A KIND AS CALVET DIRECTOR

NOTE: As we honor women veterans during Women’s History Month, CalVet remembers one of its own. The late Virginia Mae Days served as CalVet’s director from 1975-81, retiring more than a decade before CalVet became a cabinet level department headed by a secretary. Her story, published on CalVet Connect last fall, bears repeating. In a […]

COLONEL IRMA COOPER DEFIED THE ODDS

A leader throughout her long and distinguished military career, CalVet turns to Irma Hagans Cooper Colonel (retired) to take us across the bridge from Black History Month to Women’s History Month. The Los Angeles resident spent 30 years in the Army, much of it running medical facilities and commanding companies that went on to serve […]

LISA DANIELS LIVES TO TELL STORIES OF AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE MILITARY

February is Black History Month, a time to highlight the contributions and achievements made by African Americans throughout history. But it’s an easy leap to say that for Lisa Daniels of Sacramento, every month is Black History Month and to go one step beyond: Every day is Black History Day. Daniels turned what began as […]

BUFFALO SOLDIERS ONCE PROTECTED YOSEMITE AND SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARKS

As Black History Month continues, CalVet recognizes the African American “Buffalo Soldiers” who once protected Yosemite and Sequoia national parks in the central Sierra in the years before the national parks systems was established in 1916. One day many summers ago, Yosemite Park Ranger and Historian Shelton Johnson had just finished his portrayal of a […]