On this day in 1944, 76 Allied prisoners of war escaped from the German camp Stalag Luft III. Their story would be told 19 years later in the American-made film, “The Great Escape,” which starred Steve McQueen and, by many accounts, embellished the role of the camp’s American POWs while still managing to stick to […]

The WAC and her U.S. Army Hubby.

By Les Goldberg / Special to CalVet Connect After a few less-than-memorable dates in high school and college, the last place Les Goldberg expected to find his future bride was in the Army – especially right at the start of the Vietnam War. But, believe it or not, that is exactly what happened. Just a […]

During Women’s History Month each March, CalVet Connect tells the stories of some exceptional women veterans who live in the Golden State. This year, CalVet’s Home Loans program turns 100 years old, giving us opportunities to write about our veteran clients as well. Eboni Strader represents both. She’s a disabled U.S. Army veteran and single […]

Women’s History Month traditionally highlights the groundbreakers, the glass-ceiling crashers, and the ones who went first. Count two U.S. Army nurses among them. On March 13, 1942, Major Julia O. Flikke, chief of the Army Nurses Corps, became the first female colonel in the history of the Army. Her second in command, Captain Florence A. […]

When Christy Hayes graduated from Morro Bay High in 2000, she received a bottle of perfume from her sister as a graduation gift. It contained the essence of her dreams. Chanel No. 5? Giorgio? J’adore? Nope. “WD-40 has always been my favorite scent,” said Hayes. A lifelong engine buff, Hayes went straight from “California’s only […]

The overwhelming majority of living Americans cannot remember a time when the Star-Spangled Banner” was not our national anthem.  Francis Scott Key watched the British pound Maryland’s Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 and then wrote about that moment in history in a poem originally titled “The Defence of Fort McHenry.” A newspaper in Baltimore published the work on September 14, 1814, and he later changed the name to […]

In February 1942, less than three months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor – 79 years ago this weekend – the Japanese scored a decisive victory in one of the first actual sea battles in the Pacific, the Battle of Java Sea. Among the losses to the United States Asiatic Fleet, more than 2,000 sailors […]

On the evening of June 25, 1996, Latia Suttle settled in for the night in her quarters in the United States Army’s housing at the Khobar Towers complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. At least she thought she had. “We were there on a peacekeeping mission,” Suttle said. The marble floor suddenly sank beneath her feet. […]

Veteran Kenneth James went from living on Skid Row to owning a home thanks to CalVet Home Loans.

Kenneth James is happy with his new neighbors. So what if some have four legs and antlers and others use their rattles to let him know they are visiting? As long as they follow social distancing protocols, they are welcome around his home in Bear Valley Springs, near Tehachapi, in the mountains southeast of Bakersfield. […]

Presidents Day 2021

Presidents keep on working on the national holiday that many U.S. citizens have off.