“The Shot Heard ‘Round the World” at Concord, Massachusetts in 1775 led to the deaths of eight Americans and increased the already heavy tensions between the colonists and the British as the Revolutionary War approached. Most Americans learned about it in elementary school. Fast-forward to another blast not found in school textbooks. This one happened […]

At the headquarters of the California Department of Veterans Affairs in Sacramento, the Medal of Honor Wall honors 173 Californians who received the nation’s highest military honor. Plaques honor many of them in the adjacent Medal of Honor Hall as well. “Our admiration and respect for the Californians, and to all others who received the […]

More than 40,000 women currently serve as officers in the United States military, and they have Florence A. Blanchfield to thank for that. Why? Because 73 years ago today – and shortly after Congress passed the Army-Navy Nurses Act of 1947 she worked so hard to create – Blanchfield became the first permanent woman officer […]

Those who vandalized the El Soldado statue at the State Capitol on July 4 reflected a lack of understanding as to what it represents. The statue, formally known as the California Mexican-American Veterans Memorial, honors Mexican-American soldiers who fought and died during World War II. “This simple monument was built by mothers, daughters, and families […]

Americans remember December 7, 1941, as the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, killed 2,403 U.S. military personnel, and drew the United States into World War II. It, without a doubt, is one of the most horrific and important dates in our nation’s 244-year history. However, other events reflect a much different and earlier timeline […]

Each year, and for as long as she can remember, Mary Tryba has celebrated her birthday in style. “We sat on the front porch and had cake and ice cream and watched the fireworks,” said Tryba, a Navy veteran and resident of the Veterans Homes of California-Chula Vista. She turns 77 today. Cake, ice cream, […]

On July 1, 1922, a 28-year-old disabled World War I veteran became the first recipient of a Farm and Home Loan from the state of California in what ultimately became the CalVet Home Loans Program.  The 1,185 square foot bungalow style home, on North Townsend Avenue in Los Angeles, sold for $4,120, which came out to a monthly payment of $25.94. Of course, he had no way of […]

American troops line up on the streets of Nazarie. Saint

The French port of Saint Nazaire, in the Bay of Biscay, was supposed to be among the best-kept secrets of World War I. Why? Because that is where the first 14,000 American infantrymen were to land on June 26, 1917. German submarines had been wreaking havoc in the Atlantic Ocean, and loose lips could turn […]

Seventy years ago today, 75,000 North Korean soldiers, supplied by the Soviets and aided by the Chinese, bull-rushed across the 38th Parallel into South Korea. They took Seoul within a few days, and the Korean War – soon to be called the “Forgotten War” – commenced on June 25, 1950. Split into two countries when […]

Zoe Dunning would love to be able to say that with one stroke of President Barack Obama’s pen he ended her 18-year fight for equality in the United States Military by signing the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” three days before Christmas in 2010. That, however, would be far too simplistic in the world […]