California Veteran Friendly Laws

California New Veteran Friendly Laws

California is the home to more Veterans than any other state. The Golden State values its Veterans. California is fulfilling its obligation to our veterans and their families through favorable legislation. California’s Veterans will be able to benefit from new laws that enhance, extend or create opportunities impacting education and employment. Peter J. Gravett, California Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary, explained, “These bills show our commitment to serving those who have served, and we should always honor and remember the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served this state and nation in uniform.” CalVet is a forerunner in advocating for Veterans residing in California.

Among the new laws are:
• AB 2462, which gives veterans academic credit for certain prior military academic experience
• AB 2478, which expands the current exemption given to veterans from paying non-resident tuition at California community colleges
• AB 2133, which increases the number of years after leaving active duty California veterans are eligible for California college priority registration
• AB 1904, which expedites the professional and vocational licensure process for military spouses and domestic partners of certain active-duty military members
• AB 2659, which allows licensed drivers of military commercial vehicles to qualify for a California commercial driver’s license without additional California driving tests
• AB 2371, which provides restorative relief to a veteran defendant who acquires a criminal record due to a mental disorder stemming from military service
• AB 1505 which reinstates state veterans benefits that were denied solely on the basis of sexual orientation when the federal government first reinstates those benefits
• AB 2198, which changes county veteran service officer reporting requirements to ensure the programs are maximizing support to veterans
• SB 1198, which requires CalVet to provide veterans with information about federal veteran pensions, federal housing vouchers, and CalFresh
• SB 1287 & SB 1288, which allow reduced-fee sport fishing licenses for active military personnel who are recovering service members and reduced-fee hunting licenses for military personnel who are recovering service members

Veteran Hired Mission Accomplished

When Valerie Brown sat across from David Letterman on his late night talk show, she had high hopes that her “out-of-the-box” strategy would pay off in multiple job offers. She was, after all, an eight year veteran of the U.S. Army, a Fellow with The Mission Continues, a national representative of Student Veterans of America, and an Intern for Veterans of Foreign Wars. If those credentials weren’t impressive enough, Valerie had also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. So why was this assignment, finding employment, her toughest to date?

Unfortunately, this is indicative of what many of our nation’s finest are facing as they separate from the military and transition to civilian life. Faced with double-digit unemployment and a challenging economy, many veterans might be tempted to thrown in the towel. But the best strategy to get a civilian career going is get creative and get going!

Don’t undervalue good old fashioned networking. Involve your family and friends; more people helping you increases your chances of success. Social media, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, are also good places to spread the word. Additionally, Twitter and blogs are also good ways to get the word out. And be proactive: if there is a company you’d like to work for, contact them and inquire about their hiring process. Be persistent! Using only one strategy, such as answering employment ads, greatly reduces your chances of success. The key to a fruitful job hunt is diversifying and using a number of different strategies.

Valerie was referred to Military Connection by John Mikelson of the University of Iowa. We wanted to help, and felt that we could because one major area of our focus is employment. We offered to promote Valerie in our newsletters that deploy to over 800,000 emails, and put her on our homepage banner. I’m happy to tell you that Valerie received multiple job offers, and just relocated to begin her new job – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

We invite other Veterans to register on our web site here: If you have a compelling story, please email us: [email protected] and each month we will feature a Veteran seeking employment in our newsletter.

Hispanic Heritage Month

The U.S. military is currently commemorating Hispanic American Heritage Month, which began on September 15th and runs through October 15th. Through programs, exhibits, and military/community events, the theme, “Diversity United, Building America’s Future Today,” is a homage to the brave Veterans and active duty military who can trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients date back to the inception of the medal during the Civil War. Included amongst the forty-four men of Hispanic heritage who have been awarded the Medal of Honor was Corporal Joseph H. De Castro of the Union Army, for his actions at Gettysburg. Following the Civil War, medals were awarded to men such as Private David Bennes Barkley, for his actions during World War I, and Harold Gonsalves and Jose Valdez, who were 2 of the 13 Hispanic men awarded the medal in WWII. Rodolfo P. Hernandez and Joseph C. Rodriguez were the only living recipients of the eight men who were awarded the medal during the Korean War. Among the brave men who valiantly served in Vietnam, sixteen Hispanic men were singled out for the Medal of Honor. And joining these decorated heroes is the most recent recipient, Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry, for his actions in Afghanistan.

The business world also benefits from the contributions made by a variety of Hispanic Veteran professionals, including NASA astronauts Joseph Acaba and Carlos Noriega, NYPD Chief of Patrol Nicholas Estavillo, Golfer Lee Trevino, and Congressman Frank Tejeda. According to the most recent Census Bureau Business Survey, Veteran-owned businesses under Hispanic ownership doubled from in the five years between 2002 to 2007. Currently, Hispanic veteran-owned businesses number over 113,000 and employ approximately 141,000 people.

The United States in a melting pot, and diversity has never been more valued. At Military Connection, we are proud to join forces with employers who value our talented and diverse audience of Military and Veteran professionals. Those who have served exhibit traits such as loyalty, intelligence and teamwork. They have proudly served our country while receiving state-of-the-art training. Many of them have chosen to continue their education, thanks to the rich educational benefits they separated with. If you would like to reach our audience for employment or education opportunities, please contact us.