Category Veterans Services

Headshot of U.S. Army veterans Rankin.

THE GAME OF HIS LIFE PRODUCED MAJOR RESULTS

Larry Rankin faced a big decision after graduating from high school in Michigan more than two decades ago. Go to college? “I wasn’t ready for college,” he said. OK, then, follow in his Navy dad’s footsteps by joining a branch of the military? “Not for me,” Rankin said. “Never.” Then, a funny thing happened on […]

Photo of the veteran designation on a CA drivers license.

FOR WHOM THE TOLLS DON’T APPLY: ELIGIBLE VETS WON’T PAY FOR BRIDGE CROSSINGS AMONG NEW LAWS IN 2023

When the clock struck midnight and rang in 2023, it brought several new laws that will honor and benefit many of California’s 1.6 million military veterans. All were signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2022. Perhaps the most notable of them? We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it – literally, figuratively, and seriously. […]

CalTAP staff gathered at CalVet Headquarters.

WEBINARS OF INTRIGUE: HOW CALTAP WENT VIRTUAL DURING THE PANDEMIC TO KEEP VETERANS CONNECTED

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in early 2020 and shut many things down, CalVet stepped up. When other offices stopped answering their phones or were unable to reply, CalVet picked up. When military bases, college campuses, and other community-based points of connection closed, CalVet booted up and took vital information right into the veterans’ homes […]

Group shot of the Veterans Division team at the CalVet Leadership Summit 2022.

VETERANS DAY IN THE BOOKS? AT CALVET, EVERY DAY IS A NEW PAGE WHEN IT COMES TO SERVING THEM

The parades and picnics are over. Speeches made and proclamations read. The American flags that lined the streets throughout the country and California are neatly folded, stored until the next national holiday. Veterans Day – America’s annual day of thanking veterans for defending this country and the freedoms our Constitution guarantees – is in the […]

The American and Californian flags.

CALVET’S VETERANS DAY POSTER DEFINES OUR MISSION AND PURPOSE

As a nation, we rely upon our armed forces to protect and defend the Constitution and the rights and freedoms it guarantees. Our servicemembers risk their lives for the reward of maintaining our democracy; even putting this solemn duty ahead of their own wellbeing, families, and loved ones. Yet, over the decades, veterans have had […]

Incarcerated veterans listen to benefits presentation at Mule Creek State Prison presentation.

THE ‘THANK-YOU’ NOTES THAT MEAN SO MUCH TO CALVET’S ANALYSTS HELPING INCARCERATED VETERANS

Steven Smith scrolled through his emails one day a few months ago, and came across one that simply moved him. Smith, a United States Navy Veteran, is among the seven veterans claims analysts working directly with incarcerated veterans in California’s 35 state prisons through CalVet’s Justice Involved Veterans Initiative. The analysts help veterans—many imprisoned for […]

CDCR prisoners walk down a road.

CALVET PROGRAM DOES JUSTICE TO THE CONCEPT OF HELPING INCARCERATED VETERANS

Mary Donovan, a veterans claims analyst with CalVet, talked benefits with about 30 veterans in the Sierra foothills community of Ione one recent morning. This wasn’t just any veterans’ group, though. All are inmates at Mule Creek State Prison, and among the more than 5,000 military veterans incarcerated in California’s 34 adult state prisons. Despite […]

Deputy Secretary Virginia Wimmer speaks to a reporter regarding the launch of the clothing drive.

OPERATION DRESS CODE DONATION DRIVE RUNS UNTIL JUNE 2

Operation Dress Code is now accepting donations of new and gently used business clothing and accessories to distribute to women veterans during a boutique event in Walnut Creek on June 11. CalVet Women Veterans Affairs is organizing the clothing drive and one-day boutique event. First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom helped kick off this year’s effort. […]

PHoto of a northern California stream running through high mountain with a Native American face in the center of the space.

CALVET WEBINAR TO FOCUS ON EDUCATING VETERANS SERVICE PROVIDERS IN OUTREACH TO NATIVE AMERICAN VETERANS IN CALIFORNIA

Last December, the Yurok Tribal Council declared a state of emergency, due to the high number of missing persons and attempted human trafficking incidents that have occurred in Humboldt County. CalVet’s Minority and Underrepresented Veterans Division will host a webinar to expand awareness of this emergency and convene a panel of experts to inform veteran […]

California coast photo with pelicans flying at sunset..

STATE PARKS AND RECREATION AREAS FREE TO DISTINGUISHED VETERAN PASS HOLDERS

California operates nearly 300 state parks and recreation areas that offer forests, beaches, buttes and boating, historic military sites, railroads and everything in between. Of those state properties, all but three – Columbia State Park in Tuolumne County, Great Valley Grasslands State Park in Merced County and Robert Louis Stevenson State Park in the Napa […]