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Veterans Affairs

Pet adoption event for members of the military, veterans

San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control (ACC) will recognize U.S. veterans and members of the military with no-cost pet adoptions during Pets 2 Vets adoption event now through Nov. 14. Veterans and members of the military can adopt dogs and cats from one of the county’s animal shelter facilities located in Devore or Big Bear. The outreach is part of the county’s ongoing effort tovet_pic3 place homeless pets with loving families. ACC will adopt up to 100 dogs or cats to qualified U.S. military veterans or members of the military. There is a limit of two adoptions per qualified individual.

The “Animals aRe First Fund” (ARFF), a local non-profit charitable organization that assists stray animals in San Bernardino County, will be paying for the vaccination, adoption and the spay or neuter fees for the first 100 adoptions made to qualified military veterans at San Bernardino County-operated animal shelters.

To participate, veterans need to provide one form of valid military identification. Valid identification includes a Veterans Identification Card, VA Health Card, Department of Defense/Uniformed Services ID Card, Disabled American Veterans Life Member ID Card, American Legion ID Card, DD-214 form, a Disabled Veteran California State Park and Recreation Pass, or a letter from the San Bernardino County Office of Veterans Affairs.

Animals can be adopted from the following San Bernardino County shelters: the Devore Animal Shelter, located at 19777 Shelter Way, San Bernardino, (909) 386-9820, or the Big Bear Animal Shelter located at 42080 Northshore Drive, Big Bear City, (909) 866-4943. For more information call San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control at 1-800-472-5609

Frank Guevara appointed new director of Veterans Affairs

Guevara_10A retired colonel with more than 36 years in the United States Army has been appointed as San Bernardino County’s Veterans Affairs Director.

Frank Guevara, who retired from the Army in May 2013, will begin his new role on June 1, 2015.

“I’m excited to join Veterans Affairs and look forward to serving our veterans and their families,” Guevara said.

Guevara has been an application development manager for San Bernardino County’s Information Services Department since 1989. He has a BS in Computer Information Systems from Cal Poly Pomona and an MBA from the University of La Verne.

“We are pleased that Frank Guevara is San Bernardino County’s incoming Veterans Affairs Director,” said Linda Haugan, San Bernardino County Assistant Executive Officer. “Frank is a veteran with more than three decades of service to our country and we look forward to all that he will do for San Bernardino County’s veterans and their families.”

He is actively involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. During his time in the service, he held various positions of increased responsibility, including Officer in Charge of the Intelligence and Security Command, where he was in charge of 5,400 military and civilian personnel, providing intelligence personnel and equipment to US and NATO forces throughout Afghanistan. He was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia during his service.

County, Omnitrans offering discount veteran fare passes

omnibusOmnitrans celebrated its special discount fare for veterans during a ceremony at the Veterans Medical Center in Loma Linda on Monday.  The Veterans Fare and Passes will allow those who have served their country to ride for half price on all Omintrans bus routes, OmniGo, and sbX.  Omnitrans is now among nearly 1,000 San Bernardino County businesses, including Victor Valley Transit Authority and Mountain Transit, offering discounts to veterans as part of the County’s Veteran Friendly Business and ID card program. With the County-issued cards, veterans can get discounts at participating business.

Honorably-discharged veterans can apply for an ID card from the County’s Veterans Affairs offices in Hesperia, Rancho Cucamonga or San Bernardino. The identification cards make veterans easier to identify to any area merchant that offers benefits to veterans such as discounts on purchases, free items, or preferred status. With the card, the veteran will not need to carry a copy of their military discharge papers to prove their veteran status.

To apply for a Veteran ID Card

Veteran IDs offer discounts, sign up Oct. 6 in Big Bear

veteransbusesOn Monday, Oct. 6, the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs is conducting a special event to sign up veterans for a County ID card that provides discounts at participating businesses throughout the county.

The Victor Valley Transit Authority and Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority boards have approved a 50 percent fare discount to any veteran with the ID.

The County Veteran ID card event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the American Legion Post 584, 41604 Big Bear Boulevard in Big Bear Lake.

Veterans should bring an original DD Form 214 or a certified copy showing character of discharge. Applicants must qualify as an honorably discharged veteran as defined by Title 38 of the U.S. Federal Code to be issued a San Bernardino County Veteran ID card.

Veterans who cannot attend the Oct. 6 event are encouraged to visit the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs at 175 W. Fifth Street in San Bernardino, second floor, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.



Board approves grant to provide horse assisted therapy program to additional veterans

VADepartmentLogoLocal veterans will receive equine therapy provided by the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs after a Jan. 14 Board approval. A grant award by the California Department of Veterans Affairs will fund this non-traditional mental health service that has helped over 100 veterans and family members overcome mental health challenges.
The equine assisted therapy seven-week program is known to address mental health needs that include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and relationship issues.
Therapy sessions are conducted at Buffalo Meadows Ranch in Redlands and delivered by Equus Medendi, a 501(c)3 public charity whose mission is healing with horses. Here is a link to a story about Equus Medendi:

Bill Moseley, Director of San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs, accredits the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) for these specialized services, “Without the MHSA funding we wouldn’t be able to conduct community outreach, education and provide support to veteran mental health projects around the County. Furthermore, this funding has resulted in new partnerships between the county, state, and federal VA from which our veterans and their families benefit,” said Moseley.

“This program is a testament to the all encompassing approach the County of San Bernardino takes to serving our residents. The key to providing these type of services is reaching out and getting everyone on board to look at a problem and find the right solution,” said Supervisor Josie
As of 2011, there are approximately 114,482 veterans residing in the County of San Bernardino, comprising approximately 5.5 percent of the County’s population according to the 2012 San Bernardino County Community Indicators Report.
For more information on this program and others like it, call the San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs at (909) 387-5516

WWII, Korean War and Vietnam veterans receive high school diplomas

ClassphotoSeven San Bernardino County Veterans received high school diplomas during the 2013 Operation Recognition Veterans Diploma Project graduation ceremony on November 4, 2013. The project recognizes veterans from WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

 The California Education Code authorizes the granting of retroactive high school diplomas to eligible veterans, as well as those who were interned by federal order in WWII. 

The veterans and their families attended the ceremony made possible by the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and the County of San Bernardino Department of Veterans Affairs.

A video of the event can be viewed here:

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