In recognition of her advocacy for Veterans, Senator Janet Nguyen was honored today by the Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council (VVA-CSC) as their 2017 Legislator of the Year. According to the VVA-CSC, this special recognition is given to legislators who support California Veterans and their families. The award was presented to Senator Nguyen at the State Capitol during the VVA-CSC Annual Capitol Legislative Day.
“I am humbled to receive this recognition from the hands of the brave Veterans who more than four decades ago, fought to defend the principles of freedom and democracy alongside South Vietnamese soldiers like my father,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. “As a member of a military family and as an advocate, I am proud to promote and protect the interests our Veterans so that they may receive the care and services they rightly earned.”
Throughout her career as a public servant, Senator Nguyen has championed policies and programs that recognize the contributions of Veterans and Servicemembers. In 2013, Senator Nguyen led the initiative to designate Orange County as a Purple Heart County; a designation that was subsequently adopted by all 34 cities in Orange County. In her tenure as a State Senator, she has introduced numerous bills to ensure that Servicemembers and Veterans receive the care and assistance they earned for their service. Highlighting her dedication to Veterans, last year, Senator Nguyen introduced a Veterans Package that sought to assist Veterans with complex mental health and behavioral needs, accelerate the path to work for Veterans transitioning into civilian life and reward State Military Reservists and Naval Militia for their extended service. After months of advocacy and fighting for these bills in both chambers of the Legislature, Senator Nguyen was proud to see Senate Bill 410, receive bipartisan support and signed into law.
Complementing her legislative efforts, since 2015, Senator Nguyen has supported military families during the holidays by hosting a Christmas Toy Drive to promote gift donations for the children of California’s Veterans and Servicemembers. Senator Nguyen has also partnered with various Veterans organizations including but not limited to the Military Children’s Collaborative Group and the Veterans Legal Institute.
“Senator Nguyen’s commitment to Veterans and the military is obvious from her efforts in the Legislature and her insight and support on the Senate Veterans Committee. She was born in Saigon and emigrated with her parents to the United States in search of freedom and liberty. These ideals are what the Vietnam Veterans fought for and we are proud to see that she is now fighting for us,” said Pete Conaty, Veterans Advocate for the VVA-CSC.
Vietnam Veterans of America is home to more than 81,000 members and was founded in 1978 with the mission of promoting, supporting and aggressively advocating for issues of importance to Vietnam Veterans, the next generation of America’s war Veterans and to also serve local communities. The Vietnam Veterans of America are the only national Vietnam Veterans organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era Veterans and families. The California State Council chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America has more than 4,900 members throughout the State of California.
This article was released by the Office of Senator Janet Nguyen.
Editor’s Note: Bev Houghton of Rossmoor is included in the photo (in reddish/purple sweater to Senator Nguyen’s right).