San Diego Continues To Place Among Top Veteran-Friendly Cities

San Diego continues to maintain its ranking as a top spot for veterans, despite some real challenges.

The city was ranked the sixth best city for veterans by Wallethub. The city ranked No. 1 in education, environment and health.

San Diego’s overall rank would have been higher if it were not for housing costs, said Jill Gonzalez, analyst for Wallethub.

“But the income growth for veterans, specifically over the ...

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California To Offer Special Driver Licenses For Veterans

There’s some good news this Veterans Day for vets who live in California: Starting Thursday, the state will offer a special new “veteran” designation on driver licenses.

Advocates hope that will make it easier to find appropriate care for veterans who are injured or arrested.

It’s only a small addition to driver licenses: the word “veteran” next to the organ donor sticker. But to Vietnam-era Navy vet Donald ...

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California To Get Two More VA Cemeteries

Need for space in veterans’ cemeteries is growing nation-wide and California is no exception.

Michael Nacincik, with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, said there are nine VA cemeteries in California and plans to build two more in the Los Angeles and Alameda areas.

"These cemeteries will be close to urban cores where large numbers of veterans live and will allow people who may have chosen not to utilize ...

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Annual San Diego Veterans Day Parade To Highlight World War II Anniversary

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be the theme of Wednesday's San Diego Veterans Day Parade.

The participants will step off at 11 a.m. near the County Administration Center and march down North Harbor Drive, ending up at Pacific Highway and G Street, according to organizers.

It's just one of several events taking place around San Diego County to honor those who ...

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Two San Diego Organizations Awarded Grants For Veterans Services

A pair of San Diego-based organizations that provide services to veterans were awarded a combined $2.9 million in federal grants, it was announced Monday.

Veterans Village of San Diego received $1 million and Community Catalysts California received $1.9 million from the federal Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. The Community Catalysts California grant will cover services in San Diego, Imperial and Riverside counties.

The Supportive Services for Veteran ...

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San Diego Company Aims To Curb VA Wait Times

A new center opened in San Diego to help vets find care outside the VA. The opening comes a little more than a year after Congress created the Veterans Choice Program to help cut long wait times.

TriWest Healthcare Alliance made the announcement before its staff of 250 people at its operations center in Rancho Bernardo on Tuesday. TriWest is operating in 28 states. It is one of the companies ...

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San Diego County Veterans Expo Strives To Handle Volume

San Diego County on Monday sponsored a Veterans, Military and Families Benefit Expo at the War Memorial in Balboa Park.

Educating 1.2 million veterans about their benefits can be challenging, especially since the number of veterans grows so rapidly, organizers said.

"We get between 300 and 500 transitioning service members per month, coming out of the big major military bases here," said Timothy Mathues, senior human resources analyst for ...

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Veterans Affairs Officials Say Improvements Made In San Diego System

San Diego Veterans Affairs officials on Monday said they've made improvements for patients.

The VA San Diego Healthcare System has seven clinics throughout San Diego County and changes have been made since criticism arose of the health care for veterans.

In the past six months, the local agency said it has converted 100 staff parking spaces to patient parking.

"We know we have to ensure that veterans who come ...

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975 Homeless Veterans Get Help At San Diego's Stand Down

Volunteers at the 28th annual National Stand Down provided services to 975 homeless veterans, according to Veterans Village of San Diego, which organized the three-day event.

This year also saw higher numbers of women and dependent children in need of help, according to the VVSD.

"Nearly 50 percent of the active-duty military has dependent spouses or children," said VVSD President and CEO Phil Landis. "It is disappointing, but not surprising ...

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Stand Down Event Kicks Off Weekend Of Helping Homeless Veterans

Homeless veterans received food, clothing, medical and dental care as the 28th Stand Down — an annual event to help indigent vets in San Diego — got underway Friday at San Diego High School.

The campus' athletic field transforms into a giant, temporary MASH unit where homeless veterans can securely house their personal possessions and even some of their most precious cargo.

"Currently we have seven cats and 13 dogs in our ...

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Army Veteran Finds Housing Through San Diego Program

A U.S. Army veteran on Tuesday said his life changed thanks to a San Diego homeless program launched in 2011.

Tommy Faccio was one of 36 homeless people selected to be a part of Project 25, a United Way homeless initiative to find permanent housing for the chronically homeless.

Faccio said he suffered from severe physical disabilities and mental illnesses. But his disabilities worsened from being homeless for eight ...

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Many Ways To Mark Memorial Day In San Diego County

Memorial Day, set aside to honor American military members who died in service to their country, will be observed at several events on Monday in San Diego County.

Nearly 250,000 veterans live in the county, which has the third largest population of veterans in the U.S., according to a 2013 report.

Here is a list of some of the Memorial Day events happening on Monday:

• 7:30 a ...

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Marine Veterans Remember Final Hours Of Vietnam War

It’s been four decades since Marine veterans John J. Valdez and Douglas Potratz were side-by-side in Vietnam. Both were stationed as security guards at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, where they helped evacuate more than 7,000 people during the final 31 hours of the war.

The two men recently reunited at Valdez’s Oceanside home to reminisce about their time in Vietnam and make plans to return ...

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Traveling Vietnam War Memorial Replica Helps Veterans, Families Heal

The first day Patty Lee returned to school in 1967 after her father was killed during the Vietnam War, a classmate approached her with a message.

“My parents said your dad deserved to die,” the classmate told 12-year-old Lee.

Now a 60-year-old grandmother, Lee said that experience taught her to stay silent about her father’s service in one of America’s most unpopular wars.

“From that I learned when ...

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Midday Edition From The Midway: Special Coverage To Mark End Of Vietnam War

Midday Edition is taking its Friday show to the USS Midway Museum in downtown San Diego. The show starts at noon and is part of KPBS’ special coverage of the fall of Saigon, an event that marked the end of the Vietnam War on April 30, 1975.

In the final hours of the war, a helicopter airlift brought thousands of Americans and South Vietnamese from Saigon to safety aboard the ...

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