Thursday, December 9, 2010
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger accepted an award in San Diego for his work to support veterans.
The governor was recognized, along with several San Diego businesses, by the San Diego Military Advisory Council, a business association that advocates for the military and their families.
Schwarzenegger launched “Operation Welcome Home” a year ago. The program does not have a big budget – just a few million dollars - but it focuses on the problem that many returning veterans don’t connect with existing services.
“We have to help them so they can get an education and health care,” Schwarzenegger said. “We have to help them if they have trouble with their marriage because they have been gone so long. We have to help them every step of the way, because when they come back, they are different people.”
Rocky Chavez, undersecretary for the California Department of Veterans Affairs, said one initiative launched by “Operation Welcome Home” is an “app” for veterans that refers them to resources close to where they live.
Maj. General Anthony Jackson, Commander of Marine Installation West, said there will be an increasing need to focus on veterans' needs in coming years. He said wounded Marines who get treated by Navy Corpsmen have a 98 percent chance of surviving. Their injuries often need medical care for the rest of their lives.
Almost 2 million veterans live in California. San Diego has the largest population of veterans, relative to its size, of any California county.