Honoring our Defenders

March 22, 2006 Governor Schwarzenegger worked with the U.S. military and the federal and state Departments of Veterans Affairs to launch the Troops to College task force, to make California’s higher-education system more accessible to military personnel leaving the service.

September 6, 2006 The Governor signed AB 2777, legislation to protect service members and their families from predatory and deceptive lending practices and from unlawful financial and investment schemes.

September 27, 2006 Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2550, giving California National Guard (CNG) members opportunities equal to those of other veterans when applying for state civil service jobs.

2007 The Governor launched the Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet initiative to bring together veterans seeking jobs, employers with job openings, and resource agencies offering a range of employment services. Since the program’s inception, forty-seven Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet job fairs have been held.

October 9, 2007 The Governor signed AB 392, requiring employers to allow the spouses of service members to take up to ten days of unpaid leave to spend time with a husband or wife who is home on leave.

February 12, 2008 Backing up his belief that veterans deserve nothing less than the state’s full commitment to help them transition back into civilian life, Governor Schwarzenegger targeted $6 million in grants to help more than 1,500 newly discharged veterans find jobs in high-growth occupations.

July 15, 2008 The Governor signed SB 1572, which placed the Veterans Bond Act of 2008 on the November ballot, asking voters to approve $900 million so the Department of Veterans Affairs could fund the purchase of homes and farms for veterans under the CalVet Home Loan Program.  California voters approved the act, 63–37 percent.

September 26, 2008 The Governor authorized the creation of the California Gold Star Family License Plate by signing SB 1455.

September 29, 2008 Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 2171, which authorizes the construction of a Purple Heart Memorial in Capitol Park.

May 25, 2009 Governor Schwarzenegger unveiled the Veterans Network of Care website to connect veterans, active-duty personnel, and their families with the social services, medical services, and education and employment opportunities available in their local communities and throughout the state.

July 31, 2009 Governor Schwarzenegger announced the California National Guard Education Assistance Program to provide financial assistance for California’s National Guard members who seek a college education.

September 25, 2009 Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 717, establishing every March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” The bill encourages all public schools in California to observe the day and conduct exercises recognizing the contributions of those involved in the Vietnam War.

June 3, 2010 Building on his commitment to strengthen employment, economic opportunities, and services for California’s veterans and their families, Governor Schwarzenegger launched Operation Welcome Home, a first-in-the-nation, statewide campaign to connect every returning veteran with the services to transition successfully from the battlefront to the home front.

June 14, 2010 Governor Schwarzenegger opened the California Veterans’ Home in West Los Angeles, which will provide housing and long-term care for many of California’s veterans. During his administration, the Governor oversaw the largest investment in state veterans’ homes in California history—an unprecedented $568 million in federal and state funds to build new homes in Lancaster, Ventura, Fresno, and Redding (for a total of nearly 1,000 new beds). This investment will double California’s capacity for providing long-term care to elderly and disabled veterans.