Category News

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 […]

‘You’re out of uniform!’ And that’s a good thing at Operation Dress Code, where women veterans can dress for success

SAN DIEGO – Five years after leaving the U.S. Coast Guard, Franchesca Avila emerged from Central Arkansas University with a degree in family and consumer science. Then came time to get a job as a civilian. The tight budget of a new graduate didn’t leave much extra cash for the attire she needed to interview […]

Remembering the Coast Guard, Marines crews who died in mid-air collision a decade ago

SACRAMENTO – On October 29, 2009, a Coast Guard HC-130 transport plane and a Marine AH-1 Cobra helicopter collided off the coast of Southern California. All seven crewmembers of the Hercules CG 1705 plane, based out of the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento, perished along with two helicopter crewmen from Camp Pendleton. The collision […]

Twenty names, including first woman, etched into California Vietnam Veterans Memorial

SACRAMENTO – Like so many others who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, U.S. Army Specialist 5 Adrienne Lee Schamp was exposed to Agent Orange, a powerful herbicide used to defoliate forests and crops that provided cover for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops. She worked in Army finance at Long Binh and […]

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 […]

CalVet officials participating in California Native American Day at State Capitol

Native American and soon-to-be Oscar recipient Wes Studi will be the keynote speaker September 27 during the 52nd annual California Native American Day, on the west steps of the State Capitol. The celebration of California Native American culture begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at 2 p.m. The event is open to the public, and […]

Yountville Home vet recalls World War II POW days, now exercises his freedoms daily

YOUNTVILLE – Most mornings, Albert Freitas climbs aboard his “buggy” and motors down to the bus stop in front of the Veterans Home of California-Yountville. The 98-year-old World War II veteran loads the electric chariot onto a bus and heads to a busy shopping center a few miles away in Napa. There, he sips a […]

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 […]

California Veterans Board adds three new appointees to advocate for veterans

With the appointments of Zoe Dunning, Ed Campbell, and Robin Umberg, the California Veterans Board has added three new members in 2019. Dunning and Campbell were appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom. Governor Jerry Brown appointed Umberg in December 2018. She was sworn in on January 2. The seven-member board hears appeals by veterans who were […]