Category Minority Veterans

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 […]

Montford Point Marines fought a two-front war: the enemy abroad, prejudice at home

In celebrating Black History Month throughout February, CalVet will share several stories about African American service members and veterans. To begin the month-long recognition, we first pay tribute to the Montford Point Marines. A small number of African Americans served in the Marines from 1776 until they were banned from the Corps in 1792. That […]

Governor declares November as Native American Heritage Month

CalVet advocates for Native American veterans. Governor Gavin Newsom has proclaimed November as Native American Heritage Month, and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) sees this as the perfect time to reaffirm its commitment and dedication to the state’s Native American veterans. “We recognize the rich diversity of the Native American peoples and their […]

New CalVet deputy secretary for minority veterans affairs brings skills in triplicate

The California Department of Veterans Affairs hit a trifecta last month when Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Xóchitl Rodriguez Murillo to be the agency’s deputy secretary for minority veterans affairs. Murillo is a minority veteran and a U.S. Army reservist who is well-versed in the machinations of the military, having served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She’s […]

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 was 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 secluded […]

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 […]

Governor Gavin Newsom appoints seven to leadership roles at CalVet

Governor Gavin Newsom announced a series of appointments this week, with the majority of them involving positions at the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Xochitl Rodriguez Murillo, 36, of Woodland, is the new deputy secretary of Minority Veterans Affairs. Murillo has a long history of public and military service.  She is the mayor of Woodland […]