veterans

In the summer of 1944, U.S. military forces took part in one of a series of key military battles aimed at defeating Japan, and winning World War II.

U.S. forces invaded the Japanese held island of Guam. It’s a story we might see today on the History Channel. But, for a 95 year old Ventura County man, it’s a memory.

A Santa Barbara congressman is co-author of new legislation intended to give disabled veterans a better shot at getting into affordable housing.

HR 4322 would exempt veterans disability benefits from counting towards total income when the federal government is determining housing aid eligibility. Democratic Congressman Salud Carbajal of Santa Barbara co-authored the bill with Republican Congressman Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania.

Carbajal says under the current formula many veterans are ineligible for housing assistance, despite their service related injuries or illness.

The House of Representatives passed a bill co-authored by a Ventura County congresswoman intended to improve healthcare for veterans.

HR 2123 would give Veterans Administration credentialed health care professionals the ability to practice telemedicine across state boarders, without having to get a new license in that state. The idea is that it would expand access to health care services for veterans in rural areas, where VA services aren’t readily available.

A Santa Barbara congressman is co-author of bipartisan legislation intended to make it easier for veterans to get some benefits they’re supposed to receive.

The Veterans Record Reconstruction Act would streamline the process of rebuilding missing, or damaged service records. The records are key in determining the eligibility of veterans for benefits. A fire decades ago destroyed the records of millions of World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans, making it difficult for some of them to get the benefits they are eligible to receive.

The governor has signed into law a bill from a state senator from Santa Barbara intended to help some veterans in trouble with the law over substance abuse.

SB 725 by Democratic State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara clarifies language in state law which will now allow veterans with misdemeanor DUI’s to qualify for pretrial diversion programs.

Jackson says the change will get veterans dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues the help they need much more quickly.

Tyler Hoffman is in Ventura County as part of a big adventure.

The House of Representatives passed legislation which would authorize 28 new VA medical facilities across the country, including one on the South Coast.

Democratic Congresswoman Julia Brownley of Westlake Village has been spearheading the effort to open a new 41,000 square foot VA facility in Oxnard.

The facility would provide a number of services that veterans currently must go to Los Angeles to receive, and is also intended to help reduce wait times for appointments.

They were among those who put their lives on the line for American more than seven decades ago.

Now, a historian from the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans is in Ventura County this week to document their stories.

Santa Barbara County is getting a major grant to help veterans with substance abuse, or mental health issues who are in trouble with the law.

The Santa Barbara County Probation Department is receiving a three year, $975,000 grant to expand the Veterans Treatment Court program in Santa Barbara.

The unique program created by now retired Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge George Eskin diverts troubled veterans into treatment programs which can help them get their lives back on track.

About 50 veterans are participating in a four-day firefighting training workshop in the Santa Monica Mountains, so that they’ll be prepared to be on the front lines during the upcoming wildfire season. 

Water flows through a creek  at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills where Bureau of Land Management firefighting instructors are showing veterans how to use a portable pump. They pump water from the creek into a fire hose.

John Carter, a Navy veteran, is a seasonal firefighter who is hoping this course will hone his skills.

They’re members of what’s known as “The Greatest Generation." 

They are the men and women who rallied during World War Two to help the U.S., and its allies defeat Germany and Japan. But, with most of them now in their 90’s, age is catching up with them, and hundreds are dying daily. An 18 year old Conejo Valley man is on a one man crusade to try to preserve their stories before they are gone.

About 150 men and women -- who served our country but are now living on the streets -- have been getting a little bit of help on the South Coast. 

The Ventura County Stand Down was held over the weekend at the Army National Guard Armory in Ventura. Homeless veterans received free services including dental work; medical screenings; optometry exams; psychological, legal and employment counseling; clean clothes; hot meals and a place to sleep for three nights and two days.