Category Women Veterans

FORMER CALVET UNDERSECRETARY UMBERG HELPED MAKE HISTORY AS ARMY’S CULTURE INVOLVING WOMEN BEGAN TO CHANGE IN 1970’s

As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) can look in its own storied history to find women who have made great contributions in the military, and to the agency itself. Retired Brigadier General Robin Umberg is one of them. She broke ground for other women in the […]

RETIRED ARMY NURSE, WOMEN VETERANS ADVOCATE HAS STORY TO TELL EVEN THOUGH VIETNAM WAR VETERANS DAY EVENT NIXED BY COVID-19

Kate O’Hare-Palmer planned to come to the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Sacramento on Sunday for what she and other Vietnam veterans has seen grow into an annual day of respect.  Instead, the former Army nurse, who chairs the Vietnam Veterans Association of America’s Women Veterans Committee, will stay home in Petaluma like other Californians […]

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 […]

COLD NIGHT IN FRANCE BEGAN MEDICAL, MILITARY MARCH ACROSS EUROPE IN WWII FOR ARMY NURSE, NOW 100

FRESNO – In the fall of 1944, just a few months after the Normandy invasion, Jane Boote endured a night she’s never forgotten. “That first night in France was the coldest night of my life,” the 100-year-old Army veteran and career nurse recalled. “The GIs thought they were doing us a favor by giving us […]

HOSPITAL AT CALIFORNIA ARMY BASE HONORS ONLY WOMAN TO RECEIVE MEDAL OF HONOR

At Fort Irwin, in California’s Mojave Desert, the Dr. Mary E. Walker Center is an administrative building that is part of the Weed Army Community Hospital system. The hospital system serves a military and civilian population of nearly 10,000. One day each December, hundreds of soldiers from Fort Irwin’s 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment march up […]

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 […]

‘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 […]

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 […]