Although initially started as a way to remember the end of “The War to End All Wars” Armistice Day, promptly also became a way for our country to thank the veterans of World War I. But then, when it became clear that wars were not going to end and men and women were still being asked to defend this country, it was changed to Veterans Day as a way to recognize all veterans that serve in the U.S. Military.

But instead of looking back, let us look forward to the work on which the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) has set its sights on. For the past several years, CalVet has focused on the important task of constructing the five beautiful, new Veterans Homes of California – in Lancaster, Ventura, West Los Angeles, Fresno and Redding. We can now rejoice together in their completion! But now, let me share with you how we are refocusing our efforts.

With this momentous goal behind us, CalVet is now able to Renew, Reenergize and Refocus its energies and efforts on serving veterans and their families with whatever their needs may be.

While CalVet’s Veterans Services Division will continue providing vital information on veterans education, employment, healthcare, crisis intervention, claims representation and Disabled Veterans Business Enterprise, we will also more aggressively pursue the advocacy role of our department. We are very excited about our collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) to place twelve CalVet veterans claims representatives in each of the USDVA regional offices in Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego to help process claims that have been pending for more than 125 days. Although we have just recently begun the process, the first teams have already processed more than 600 benefit claims for veterans that have been waiting for more than two years.

We will also continue providing resources and advocacy for women veterans as well. The recent Women Veterans Leadership Conference in San Diego was a great success with more than 300 women veterans participating in that event. In partnership with the Commission on the Status of Women and the California Research Bureau, we have been conducting our third statewide survey of women veterans, one of the largest such surveys in the country. If you want to participate please visit the on-line site at and give us your feedback.

Our CalVet Home Loans Division is here for veterans to meet their home financing needs by offering competitive market interest rates with low or no down-payment options. This means that many qualifying veterans can increase their purchasing power while at the same time keep their payments affordable. But the Division is doing more than just making home loans. It is also developing projects and entering into collaborations to help veterans and their families find a home.

Among the projects we are very proud of is our collaboration with the Habitat for Humanity of San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys. Through this collaboration, approximately 100 lower-income veterans and their families will be able to become homeowners.

Beyond home ownership, the program, with the passage of AB 639, is developing a partnership program with Housing and Community Development and the California Housing Finance Agency to fund the construction and rehabilitation of transitional and supportive housing facilities for homeless veterans.

Now that all eight veterans homes are open and running, our Veterans Homes Division has the capacity to care, collectively, for nearly 2,900 veterans, throughout the State, in various levels of long-term care in a homelike environment. In these state-of-art homes, veterans can live in a caring environment that protects their dignity and contributes to their feelings of self-reliance and self-worth. I am very pleased that the Veterans Home in West Los Angeles is also playing a part in the effort to help homeless veterans with its new transitional housing program for veterans. In a joint effort with the USDVA we have converted 84 beds for formerly homeless veterans who need immediate housing as they transition from USDVA treatment programs back into the community.

There is much that we have done in the recent years and much that still needs to be done, but working together with our community partners and our colleagues in local, state and federal agencies we will continue to revitalize this agency and the state as we Renew, Reenergize and Refocus.

Thank you and have a great Veteran’s Day.


Pakistan: Islamic seminary gutted as explosives that seminary students were preparing go off prematurely

Written by Robert spencer

You'd almost think these Islamic schools actually had bomb-making classes:

July 2009: Bomb kills nine at imam's house used as Islamic school in Pakistan
April 2007: 22 arrested for bombmaking in Islamic religious school raid in Afghanistan
July 2006: Jihadist killed by his own grenade at religious school in Afghanistan
September 2004: Nine prosecuted for bomb-making at Qur'an recital class in Indonesia

Even if they did, however, no one would care. What about those right-wing extremists?

"Injured go missing after explosion at Balochistan religious seminary," by Shahzad Baloch for the Express Tribune, November 3 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):

QUETTA: An unregistered religious seminary was gutted as a result of an explosion that occured allegedly after explosive materials prematurely went off in the Eastern Bypass, an outskirt of Quetta valley, on Sunday morning.

Gee, which religion was it a seminary for? I can't imagine!

Four rooms of...



Ventura County, CA - Airmen from Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9) home based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., will be at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu from Thursday, Oct. 24 to Friday, Oct. 25 to conduct training in the Sea Test Range off the coast of NBVC Point Mugu.

The general public in the Camarillo/Oxnard area may experience increased jet activity and noise during this time. The extra jet actively will be limited and will not occur in the evening hours.

For more information, please call the NBVC Affairs Office at 805-989-8095.



SAN DIEGO, CA – Taking action to help California veterans find decent housing, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. joined local veterans, lawmakers and community leaders in San Diego today to sign legislation to expand housing opportunities for veterans.

“After veterans serve our country, it’s our duty to serve them,” said Governor Brown. “This new reformed housing program will make life better for veterans for years to come."

The legislation (AB 639), authored by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), will ask voters to repurpose $600 million of existing veterans’ housing bond funds to use for multifamily, transitional and supportive housing. The bond will go before the voters on the June 2014 primary ballot. The Governor signed the bill at Veterans Village of San Diego.

“I am proud of the actions that the Governor and the Legislature have taken this year to tackle veterans’ homelessness in our state,” said Speaker Pérez. “Veterans have devoted their lives to the protection of our country and it is absolutely unacceptable when they cannot afford a place for them and their families to sleep. As citizens, it is our basic obligation to stand up for these men and women who have served our nation, and I look forward to seeing California voters approve this measure.”

In addition to AB 639, the Governor announced that he has signed the following bills today to help California veterans:

AB 143 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) – Until January 1, 2019, exempts from the use tax property purchased by a qualified active duty or reserve member of the armed forces or National Guard, or his or her spouse or registered domestic partner, outside the state and prior to the report date on official orders transferring the qualified service member to the state. Does not affect state law guiding use taxes on vehicles.

AB 150 by Assemblymember Kristin M. Olsen (R-Modesto) – Authorizes the Department of Parks and Recreation to offer a reduced fee or free day use of any unit of the state park, as specified, to veterans and active duty military personnel of the United States Armed Forces or the National Guard, on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

AB 151 by Assemblymember Kristin M. Olsen (R-Modesto) – Authorizes the governing board of a county to grant financial assistance, relief, and support to a disabled veteran, as defined.

AB 244 by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) – Requires the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to sponsor a veterans' special interest license plate and requires the California Department of Motor Vehicles to issue the veterans' plate if CalVet meets the current statutory requirements.

AB 556 by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) – Adds "military and veteran status," as defined, to the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. The bill also provides an exemption for an inquiry by an employer regarding military or veteran status for the purpose of awarding a veteran's preference as permitted by law.

AB 717 by Assemblymember Rocky Chávez (R-Oceanside) – Changes the role and composition of the California Veterans Board, requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to respond to the Board as specified.

AB 1057 by Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside) – Requires each board and bureau, commencing January 1, 2015, to inquire in every application for licensure if the individual applying for licensure is serving in, or has previously served in, the military, ensuring a more streamlined and efficient process for licensing military veterans in professional careers.

SB 232 by Senator William W. Monning (D-Carmel) – Repeals a budget allocation for a loan to the Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Ord, appropriates $1 million to the Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Ord Endowment Fund (Fund) for construction of the Cemetery, and amends current statutory requirements of regarding the use of interest on a principal in the Fund. This bill also requires that any money transferred as part of the budget action granting a loan to the Fund be returned to the General Fund.

SB 272 by Senator Ellen Corbett (D-Hayward) – Prohibits implying any military veteran or military veteran service organization connection, approval or endorsement of any financial product, goods or services unless there is an expressed connection to that military veteran entity.

SB 290 by Senator Stephen T. Knight (R-Palmdale) – Extends, to a California State University undergraduate student, provisions exempting a California Community College student- who was a member of the Armed Forces stationed in this state on active duty for more than one year immediately prior to receiving an honorable discharge- from paying nonresident tuition for up to one year while providing the student up to two years following discharge to use this exemption, if the student files an affidavit stating their intent to establish California residency as soon as possible. Requests the University of California to also adopt the above policy.

SB 725 by Senator Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) – Expands the types of local governments that cannot revoke the dedication of a specified veterans' facility to include a city, or city and county.

SB 759 by Senator Jim W. Nielsen (R-Gerber) – Updates current law which authorizes donation of firearms or other weaponry to the California National Guard military museum to instead refer to the California State Military Museum and Resource Center located in Sacramento, and authorizes donations to occur at branch museums located at California National Guard facilities, as specified.



An agreement signed by the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will help California veterans and their families receive their benefits more quickly and help reduce the backlog of claims that have kept some veterans waiting for nearly two years.

The Memorandum of Understanding, along with $3 million and 36 limited-term positions authorized by the Governor’s 2013-14 budget, allows CalVet to hire teams of 12 veterans claims representatives for VA’s regional offices in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego. Claims representatives will review claims pending for 125 days or longer and work to make them fully developed and ready for VA rating. Once a claim has been adjudicated and a disability rating has been assigned, compensation or pension payments can be properly calculated and sent out to the veteran.

“This agreement, along with greater access to veterans’ records and the dedication of our veteran claims representatives, will go a long way easing the backlog of California benefits claims,” said CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “By reviewing claims that have been pending the longest and working forward, we will reduce the waiting time veterans have had to face.”

CalVet has begun hiring veterans claims representatives and, to date, has 14 of the 36 positions filled. To view the veterans claims representative job bulletins for openings in Los Angeles, Oakland and San Diego, go to



The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) invites veterans and their friends to view the latest video produced by the California Department of Food and Agriculture for their Growing California video series titled “From Service to Harvest” about veterans turning to farming after their military service is complete. The video can be viewed at As noted in the video, the Farmer Veteran Coalition can help veterans plan for their new careers as a farmer. The Farmer Veteran Coalition can be found at or by calling 530-756-1395.

CalVet offers farm loans to eligible California veterans to acquire a farm property that will provide a livelihood for the veteran and his or her family. Veterans may qualify for the purchase of a farm which is an acceptable agricultural property as determined by CalVet. One of the basic requirements for a CalVet Farm Loan is that CalVet be assured that the veteran, performing as an average farmer under average conditions, can operate the farm on a sound financial basis.

For more information on CalVet Farm Loans call 866-653-2510 or email us at

Follow CalVet on and twitter/mycalvet.


The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is hiring 36 Veterans Claims Representatives (VCR) to speed processing of benefits claims filed by California veterans and caught in the massive VA backlog. VCRs will review claims that have been pending 125 days or longer to ensure they are fully developed and ready for adjudication.

A 12-member VCR team will be hired for each VA/CalVet regional office in Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego. The limited-term (2-year) positions and $3 million in funding for the VCRs was made available in the Governor’s 2013/14 budget.

Interested persons with current Veterans Claims Representative I or II list eligibility are encouraged to apply. To view the job announcements, go to:

Veterans Claims Representative I
Veterans Claims Representative II

Qualifying individuals may establish list eligibility by taking and passing the VCR exam.
To view the exam announcement, go to:



Friday, August 22, 2013

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

The Marines Memorial Club

609 Sutter Street

San Francisco, CA

Pursuant to Government Code Section 11125(b), items on this notice are

considered items of business to be transacted or discussed.

Robert Ruiz, Chairman

Daniel Contreras, Member Mario P. Diaz, Member

Helen Galvan, Member Ricardo Reyes, Member

Tanis Ybarra, Member

General Business Speaker

· Call to Order & Pledge of Allegiance Robert Ruiz

· Welcome & Introductions Robert Ruiz

· Roll Call TBD

· Members’ Announcements Members

· Reading & Approval of Minutes from last meeting TBD

Business Items

1. Status of Memorial Project

· Memorial Name Change Robert Ruiz

· Phrase at entrance to Memorial

· Statue composed of pictures of military service members

2. Legislative Report Robert Ruiz

3. Computer Conversion Robert Ruiz

4. Marketing & Fundraising Report Robert Ruiz

· Consideration of AVI Contract Proposal for website development

· Announcement for Fundraising Director

5. Future Agenda Items: Any Committee member or staff desiring to place items on the agenda, or items not on the agenda, but within the purview of the Committee, may make such request.

5. Public Comment Period: Members of the public desiring to speak on the agenda, or items not on the agenda, but within the purview of the Committee, may make such request.

6. Next meeting: 19 September 2013, in Santa Maria.


The meeting location is accessible to the physically disabled. Parking for this event is available in front of the CalVet Building on a first-come basis.


The California Department of Veterans Affairs has set the dates for the Grand Opening Events for the new Veterans’ Homes in Fresno and Redding. The events, which have been much anticipated by the veterans and community leaders in the areas, will feature select guest speakers, dignitaries, entertainment, and special presentations. These events will give the public a chance to view these state-of-the-art facilities and participate in the historic opening of the new veterans homes.

DATE: Friday, October 18th
TIME: 10:00 A.M.
LOCATION: Veterans Home of California - Fresno
2811 West California Avenue
Fresno, CA 93706

DATE: Friday, October 25th
TIME: 10:00 A.M.
LOCATION: Veterans Home of California – Redding
3400 Knighton Rd
Redding, CA 96002

Community Open Houses will be held on the Saturday following the openings to allow the public an opportunity to tour the facilities and meet the staff. Details of these events and others activities during the Grand Openings will be released at a later date.


The 21st annual Ventura County Stand Down will take place July 26, 27 & 28, 2013, and will be held at the California Army National Guard Armory in Ventura. The purpose of this effort is to assist veterans break out of the cycle of homelessness. Veterans in the Counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Los Angeles will participate this year. Ventura County Stand Down invites veterans who are not homeless access to the services that will be available on Friday, July 26 & Saturday, July 27.

Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the veterans who are homeless “combat” life on the streets. The hand up philosophy of Stand Down is carried out through the work of hundreds of volunteers and organizations who truly demonstrate the American spirit of volunteerism on behalf of veterans who are homeless. They demonstrate that ordinary people can do extraordinary things in assisting veterans become productive citizens of the community.

During the three-day, two-night effort, veterans will live on campus in military-style tents erected by the Seabees and have access to shower facilities, toiletries, new and used clean clothing, hot meals, etc. each day. Working in conjunction with dozens of public and private agencies Stand Down 2013 will provide homeless veterans with a myriad of services such as medical treatment, legal services, prescription lenses, employment counseling and referrals, VA benefits, drug and alcohol counseling, general relief information, transitional housing information, along with a range of other government and social services. In addition, a Superior Court will be held on Friday afternoon, July 26, where veterans will be given an opportunity to adjudicate their pending legal cases before a volunteer judge who, in lieu of fine or jail time, order veterans to participate in community service at the Stand Down site. One of the many success stories of Stand Down are those veterans who were homeless return year after year as volunteers to assist other fellow veterans.

Claire Hope, Founder & Executive Chairperson for 21 consecutive years, is an 18-year resident of Camarillo whose father was a WWII veteran, husband is a WWII and Korean veteran, and her son is a Persian Gulf Veteran.

Those veterans who pre-register at various social service agencies facilitate their entrance into the Stand Down event.



SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced Friday that Diane Vanderpot, of Livermore, has been appointed Undersecretary of Veterans Homes at the California Department of Veterans Affairs.

Vanderpot is a retired Army Colonel. She was senior policy officer for arms control at the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2010 to 2012, a professor at the U.S. Army War College from 2009 to 2010 and intelligence director for the Multi-National Force-Iraq Force Strategic Engagement Cell from 2008 to 2009. She served in multiple positions at U.S. Army Europe in Heidelberg, Germany from 2003 to 2007, including chief of intelligence operations and community commander. Vanderpot was intelligence director for the Coalition/Joint Task Force-Kuwait at Camp Doha, Kuwait from 2001 to 2002 and served in multiple other positions as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1985 to 2012. Vanderpot earned a Master of Science degree in national security and strategy from the U.S. Naval War College.

“We welcome Ms. Vanderpot to the CalVet executive leadership team. Her appointment will help ensure the department’s continued ability to provide the quality living experience and professional medical care the disabled and older veterans living in our homes deserve,” said Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “Her years of leadership experience will also help ensure our homes continue to run as effectively and efficiently as possible.”


CAMARILLO, CA - The Ventura County Veterans Fund at the Ventura County Community Foundation has awarded its first grants to local nonprofits that serve veterans as they adjust to civilian life. The Ventura County Veterans Fund will present a total of $75,000 in grants to seven nonprofits that meet a variety of veterans needs, including college and career preparation and therapy.

VCCF and the Gold Coast Veterans Foundation seeded the fund with $25,000 in challenge grants last year, and it recently reached its goal with a $20,000 contribution from the Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors Foundation, which provided both a matching gift for personal donation and a donation to extend the work of the fund.

"Many who serve overseas in the military have a difficult time adjusting as they return home," VCCF President and CEO Hugh Ralston said. "These grantees have developed diverse and innovative programs to provide critical support for those who have served our country."

The following programs received the 2013 grants:

$8,500 to California Lutheran University for the Veterans Entrepreneurship Institute, a series of workshops to prepare veterans to be competitive in today's workforce.

$15,000 to the CSUCI Foundation for the Veterans Affairs Internship Program, to provide paid internships to student veterans in their chosen field.
$9,000 to Oxnard College for Boots to Books, a college orientation program offering support to veterans and their families. Workshop topics include the GI Bill, transferring to a university, career and financial aid planning and job seeking.

$15,000 to Reins of H.O.P.E for the H.O.P.E for Warriors Ventura County Veterans Services Program, which offers equine therapy and learning sessions for veterans and their families.

$15,000 to Turning Point Foundation for the H2H Housing First Veterans Project, offering housing and case management services for chronically homeless, mentally ill veterans.

$7,500 to Ventura County Jewish Family Services for counseling services for veterans and their families, providing therapy for PTSD, depression and emotional responses to adjusting.

$5,000 to the White Heart Foundation for the White Heart Network, allowing Ventura County residents to support funding campaigns for local veterans.

"To be recognized and supported by such a prestigious group is a compliment," said Reigns of H.O.P.E Executive Director Julie Sardonia. "Our team feels strongly it is important to give back to those who have sacrificed so much by helping them experience the healing power of riding and caring for horses."

VCCF's Ventura County Veterans Fund supports efforts to enhance the quality of life and to assist the men and women who so valiantly committed their lives to protecting our country though all branches of the military. Established with a challenge from the VCCF Community Response Fund and the Gold Coast Veterans Foundation, the fund has been focused on raising capital locally to support returning veterans and their families, and has established itself as a partner for local donors interested in supporting this cause.

Celebrating its 25th year, VCCF invests the charitable capital that drives the philanthropic engines of Ventura County. Its portfolio performance ranks in the top 11 of all community foundations in the United States for long-term growth. With total assets of nearly $126 million, as of March 30, its mission is to promote and enable philanthropy to improve our community for good for ever, which it does through grantmaking, scholarships and training at its Center for Nonprofit Leadership. It owns the VCCF Nonprofit Center in Camarillo - a place where nonprofits and the community can come together to work together. Visit or call (805) 988-0196.


SACRAMENTO, CA – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that Mirtha Villarreal-Younger, of Sacramento, has been appointed Deputy Secretary, Minority Veterans Affairs at the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet).

Villarreal-Younger is director of state personnel at the California Military Department, where she has served in multiple positions since 2001, including deputy director of state personnel programs, state equal employment officer, deputy director of public affairs and command information officer and chief of community relations. Villarreal-Younger was a force integration officer at the California Army National Guard from 1997 to 2001.

“We are delighted with the Governor’s appointment of Ms. Villarreal-Younger as CalVet Deputy Secretary, Minority Veterans Affairs,” said Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “Her prior leadership roles and her experience with military personnel position her well to understand the needs and address the challenges of the State’s minority veteran community.”


Written By Rowan Scarborough

Publicly and privately, U.S. commandos are casting doubt on the sexual revolution looming over Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Delta Force and Green Berets.

The Pentagon staged a press briefing last week to announce a two-year study to refine combat physical standards and find the best way to install women in the male bastion of infantry, armor and special operations. A decision on which combat roles will be open to women is expected in 2015.

It is the special “ops” group — with its secretive isolation in small teams where physical stamina matters most — that has commandos the most nervous.

“The only option...


Long-pending benefits claims submitted by California veterans and caught in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) processing “log jam” could soon see the light of day. The newly signed Governor’s Budget has authorized $3 million and 36 limited-term positions that will allow the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) to work with USDVA to help alleviate its massive veterans’ claims backlog.

The money will be used to hire a “Strike Force” team of 12 Veterans Claims Representatives (VCR) for each of USDVA’s regional offices in Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego to focus on backlogged claims, ensuring they are properly developed and have all necessary documentation needed for adjudication.

“We appreciate the leadership of the Governor and the Speaker on this initiative as well as the Legislature’s continued support of CalVet and its efforts to ensure the well-being of California veterans and their families,” said CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “Helping them get the benefits they so richly deserve after their honorable service to our country is the very least we can do for them.”

CalVet has already begun advertising to fill the limited-term positions and is looking to hire VCRs with previous veterans’ benefits claims processing experience. The USDVA will provide office space, computers, phones and other equipment for the Strike Teams which will work under the supervision of CalVet regional office staff.

The Governor’s Budget also includes a one-time augmentation of $3 million in support of California’s network of 56 County Veterans Service Offices (CVSO). Working closely with CalVet, the mission of the CVSOs is to connect veterans and their families with the state and federal benefits and the local services available to them.

“The CVSOs have proved time and time again that they are affective advocates for California Veterans and this budget recognizes their hard work and provides them with the additional resources they need to better serve our veterans,” said Secretary Gravett.

In other areas, the budget provides for a General Fund loan of up to $1.5 million for the preliminary plans and working drawings for the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery. The cemetery will be built on the grounds of the former Fort Ord U.S. Army post located on Monterey Bay.

The Budget also provides funding that will allow the Veterans Home of California, West Los Angeles to convert 84 beds from skilled nursing level of care to independent living, thus allowing the department to serve a broader population of veterans. Funding is also included for the Veterans Homes of California in Fresno and Redding, which will allow CalVet to begin admitting residents in the Fall of this year.

Additional details of the Budget may be found in the attached Governor’s Office news release or by following this link:


Are you a veteran making between $45,000 and $83,650 a year combined family income and dream of owning your own home? Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valley, the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate for North Los Angeles County, in collaboration with the California Department of Veterans Affairs, is building homes for veterans in Sylmar and Santa Clarita. The project in Santa Clarita will consist of an 87-home community and the one in Sylmar will be a 12-home community. These green affordable homes are made available to low to very-low income veterans, their families, and families of the fallen.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity for veterans living in North Los Angeles County interested in owning a home,” said Peter J. Gravett, CalVet Secretary. “Veterans who participate in this program will be able to provide sweat equity, which not only makes the home more affordable, but also gives veterans and their families a sense of accomplishment in knowing they helped build their home. Veterans should get their applications in to Habitat for Humanity as soon as possible so they can hopefully move into their new home within 18-24 months.”

Hurry, applications are currently being accepted. If you are a veteran making a combined family income of $45,000 - $83,650 a year, call 818-884-8808 or go to to apply.

This is a great opportunity for veterans of any age, branch of service, or conflict. Minimum qualifications include Honorable Character of Discharge, and a minimum household income of $45,000 (Sylmar) or $83,650 (Santa Clarita). Income includes any Social Security or VA disability payments. Families who qualify will pay no more than 35% of their monthly income for their mortgage, tax, HOA, insurance and water.

Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valley will also be providing what they call “enrichment services” for the veterans and their families. These are social services provided free of charge on-site in the neighborhoods to the families before and after move-in to assist veterans and their families with important life and self-sufficiency skills. These services include financial training, PTSD Counseling, healing art workshops for trauma victims, education on maximizing connections to all veteran benefits, domestic violence counseling, health and dental screenings, veteran to veteran dialogue, homework help for the children and more.


California receives more grant funds from U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) than any other state in the nation to help address the issue of veteran homelessness. The State got nearly $16 million, about 25 percent of the grant money going to local public housing agencies across the country. Florida was the second highest state with about $6 million, followed by Texas with about $5 million.

The supportive housing assistance is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) Program which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by USDVA. Since 2008, a total of 48,385 vouchers have been awarded and 42,557 formerly homeless veterans are currently in homes because of HUD-VASH.

“Caring for veterans who served and sacrificed to secure and preserve the freedoms we enjoy is our duty as a nation,” said CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “Providing the basic necessity of shelter is the very least we can do to ensure veterans live with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

HUD-VASH is a critical part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to end Veteran and long-term chronic homelessness by 2015. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness serves as a roadmap for how the federal government will work with state and local communities to confront the root causes of homelessness, especially among former servicemen and women. HUD’s annual “point in time” estimate of the number of homeless persons and families for 2012 found that veteran homelessness fell by 7.2 percent (or 4,876 people) since January 2011 and by 17.2 percent since January 2009. On a single night in January 2012, 62,619 veterans were homeless nationwide.

The grants announced yesterday are part of $75 million appropriated this year to support the housing needs of homeless veterans. Local public housing authorities provide rental assistance to homeless veterans while nearby VA Medical Centers (VAMC) offer supportive services and case management. This is the first round of the 2013 HUD-VASH funding. HUD expects to announce more HUD-VASH funding this summer.

Veterans participating in the HUD-VASH program rent privately owned housing and generally contribute no more than 30 percent of their income toward rent. VA offers eligible homeless veterans clinical and supportive services through its medical centers across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico.


The laws relating to the flag of the United States of America are found in detail in the United States Code. Title 4, Chapter 1 pertains to the flag; Title 18, Chapter 33, Section 700 regards criminal penalties for flag desecration; Title 36, Chapter 3 pertains to patriotic customs and observances. These laws were supplemented by Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations.

United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag
§1. Flag; stripes and stars on
The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be forty-eight stars [Note: Sec. 2 provides for additional stars; Today the flag has fifty stars representing the fifty states — Webmaster], white in a blue field

§2. Same; additional stars
On the admission of a new State into the Union one star shall be added to the union of the flag; and such addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission

§3. Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag
Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America; or shall expose or cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign upon which shall have been printed, painted, or otherwise placed, or to which shall be attached, appended, affixed, or annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, or drawing, or any advertisement of any nature; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell, expose for sale, or to public view, or give away or have in possession for sale, or to be given away or for use for any purpose, any article or substance being an article of merchandise, or a receptacle for merchandise or article or thing for carrying or transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign, to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court. The words "flag, standard, colors, or ensign", as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.

§4. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.", should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute. [See Congressional Notes re use of "under God."]

§5. Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs; definition
The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America be, and it is hereby, established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more executive departments of the Government of the United States. The flag of the United States for the purpose of this chapter shall be defined according to title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1, Section 1 and Section 2 and Executive Order 10834 issued pursuant thereto.

§6. Time and occasions for display
a.It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
b.The flag should be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
c.The flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
d.The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on
◦New Year's Day, January 1
◦Inauguration Day, January 20
◦Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, third Monday in January
◦Lincoln's Birthday, February 12
◦Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February
◦Easter Sunday (variable)
◦Mother's Day, second Sunday in May
◦Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
◦Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May
◦Flag Day, June 14
◦Father's Day, third Sunday in June
◦Independence Day, July 4
◦Labor Day, first Monday in September
◦Constitution Day, September 17
◦Columbus Day, second Monday in October
◦Navy Day, October 27
◦Veterans Day, November 11
◦Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
◦Christmas Day, December 25
◦and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
◦the birthdays of States (date of admission)
◦and on State holidays.

e.The flag should be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.
f.The flag should be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.
g.The flag should be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.
§7. Position and manner of display
The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, should be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.

a.The flag should not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in subsection (i) of this section.
b.The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
c.No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof: Provided, That nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.
d.The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, should be on the right, the flag's own right, and its staff should be in front of the staff of the other flag.
e.The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.
f.When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag's right.
g.When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.
h.When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
i.When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window, the flag should be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.
j.When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it should be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.
k.When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience.
l.The flag should form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but it should never be used as the covering for the statue or monument.
m.The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag should be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff, and the same authority is provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia with respect to present or former officials of the District of Columbia and members of the Armed Forces from the District of Columbia. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection —
1.the term "half-staff" means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;
2.the term "executive or military department" means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and
3.the term "Member of Congress" means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.
n.When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left shoulder. The flag should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.
o.When the flag is suspended across a corridor or lobby in a building with only one main entrance, it should be suspended vertically with the union of the flag to the observer's left upon entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag should be suspended vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north, when entrances are to the east and west or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions, the union should be to the east.
§8. Respect for flag
No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

a.The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
b.The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
c.The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
d.The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
e.The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
f.The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
g.The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
h.The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
i.The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
j.No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
k.The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning
§9. Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag
During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present in uniform should render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Citizens of other countries present should stand at attention. All such conduct toward the flag in a moving column should be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

§10. Modification of rules and customs by President
Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of America, set forth herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or additional rules with respect thereto may be prescribed, by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, whenever he deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such alteration or additional rule shall be set forth in a proclamation

United States Code Title 36
§301. National anthem
a.Designation. — The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.

b.Conduct During Playing — During rendition of the national anthem —
1.when the flag is displayed —
A.individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
B.members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
C.all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
2.when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.
§302. National motto
"In God we trust" is the national motto.

§303. National floral emblem
The flower commonly known as the rose is the national floral emblem.

§304. National march
The composition by John Philip Sousa entitled "The Stars and Stripes Forever" is the national march.

§901. Service flag and service lapel button
a.Individuals Entitled To Display Service Flag.— A service flag approved by the Secretary of Defense may be displayed in a window of the place of residence of individuals who are members of the immediate family of an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.
b.Individuals Entitled To Display Service Lapel Button.— A service lapel button approved by the Secretary may be worn by members of the immediate family of an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.
c.License To Manufacture and Sell Service Flags and Service Lapel Buttons.— Any person may apply to the Secretary for a license to manufacture and sell the approved service flag, or the approved service lapel button, or both. Any person that manufactures a service flag or service lapel button without having first obtained a license, or otherwise violates this section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.
d.Regulations.— The Secretary may prescribe regulations necessary to carry out this section.


In partnership with Walmart and the VetFund Foundation, CalVet will host the Women Veterans Leadership Conference on September 25-27, 2013 at the Mission Valley Marriot Hotel in San Diego, California. Online conference registration is now available at

The Women Veterans Leadership Conference will provide information and resources that encourage and empower women veterans to become self-sufficient, active members of their communities. Conference participants will learn how to start a business or nonprofit organization and how to become a community leader, activist or volunteer. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about their veteran’s benefits, enroll in healthcare, file disability claims and speak with employers, college representatives, and veteran service organizations at more than 40 information tables.

The Conference will also include an evening reception to honor exemplary women veterans. Award nominations will be available to submit from May 21 until July 19 for the Woman Veteran Leader of the Year Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Outstanding Volunteer Award. Nomination forms may be downloaded at

The honorary co-chairs of the Conference are California Assembly Majority Leader, Assemblymember Toni Atkins and Assemblymember Rocky Chávez. Assemblymember Chávez serves as Vice Chair of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee and Assemblymember Atkins serves as a member of the Committee.

The conference is made possible by private donations made through the VetFund Foundation, a 501(c)(3) corporation that promotes the interests and raises money in support of California veterans and active duty service members as well as assisting selected programs and services of the California Department of Veterans Affairs.

For more information, please email or call (916) 653-1402.


Additional help will soon be available to veterans struggling with post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma and other serious mental health issues. The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is now accepting applications for 2013-2014 for grant funds made available by Proposition 63 in support of veteran mental health outreach and treatment programs.

Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), which passed in November 2004, increased funding, personnel and other resources to support county mental health programs and monitor progress toward statewide goals for serving children, transition age youth, adults, older adults, and families with mental health issues.

“Many California veterans suffer from untreated and serious mental health issues that adversely impact their lives long-term. These funds will help many of those veterans,” said CalVet Secretary Peter J. Gravett. “During the 2012-2013 Proposition 63 funding cycle, CalVet had the pleasure of awarding a total of $270,000 to County Veterans Service Offices in six counties.”

Proposition 63 Request for Funding Applications which outline the purpose of the funding, restrictions, application process, evaluation criteria, review process, and application scoring, were mailed out to interested organizations and are available by request by contacting Christopher Colbert,, 916-503-8376 or Stewart MacKenzie,, 916-503-8383.