January 23, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

It’s a New Day at the WLA: Who should be supporting the VA?

By Marcie Polier Swartz

Founder CEO Village for Vets

When I tell people I’ve launched a support group for the VA, I get these reactions the most:

 

  • Isn’t that the Government’s job?
  • Why haven’t they done more?
  • They announced that Master Plan, where is the new housing?
  • Oh yeah, what’s happening?

I don’t think I’ve ever told you what connects me to the VA.

My dear father’s business, a chain of Army Navy Surplus stores paid our mortgage, put clothes on our backs and enabled us to go on family vacations. I used to watch him make sealed bids for government surplus. During the summer, when I worked at his warehouse, we counted inventory. I smelled the leather in the WAC shoes. Some of them fit me. I counted uniforms, vests and coats. They were made of different cloths – wool, thick cotton, camouflage and solids. The colors varied with OD Green (olive drab) predominating. I loved the muted colors, the feel of my hands running over the thick fabrics and the smell of the canvas. They permeated the air.

My Uncle Marty is a Korean War Veteran. He never talks about it. I know he has ribbons and pins. I’ve never seen them. He was doing well in college before the war, but when he came back he worked in one of my father’s stores. Then he had a Surplus store of his own.

My dearest brother is a six-year Navy Vet. The VA has been very good to him since his return in 1999.

I don’t expect all of you will have similar reasons to feel connected to the VA, although if you start asking your families and friends if there are Veterans amongst you, it might surprise you to find out just how close a Veteran is. What is their story?

And here is the big reason everyone can use to feel connected to our VA. The original gift of lands to the VA was made by Arcadia Bandini de Baker, Senator John P. Jones and John Wolfskills, totaling least 753 acres. I have heard many stories as to total donated acreage over the years totaling up to 880 acres claimed by a Bandini heir at a Town Hall meeting I attended. Here is a link to some of the facts: https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/veterans_affairs/pacific_branch.html.

Much of that acreage was used for the 405 Freeway and Wilshire Boulevard. Do you use these roads? Does the use of these lands help you earn your living and visit friends, go to dinners and play at parks and beaches? Do you feel connected to the VA now?

Do you still need to ask what the VA is doing? Or do you want to join us in helping the VA to uplift not only the Veterans but all of us as well.

Related Posts

Santa Monica’s Future: Will Developers or Residents Rule? – Part 3 Our Boulevards

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

This is the 3rd of a 5 part article outlining serious issues that Santa Monica residents and the City Council...

Letter to the Editor: A Solution for Drivers and Mountain Lions Alike

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

The recent story, Local Mountain Lions Show First Reproductive Effects of Inbreeding, highlights a study that found mountain lions in...

Opinion: Housing Battle Heats up in Signature Season

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist Even before a proposed homeowner-inspired measure aiming to restore full zoning powers to local governments hit...

Santa Monica’s Future: Will Developers or Residents Rule? – Part 2 Our Downtown

January 14, 2022

January 14, 2022

This is the 2nd of five weekly articles looking at the history and current condition of Santa Monica’s beachfront environment...

Column: Let’s talk About the Soil

January 12, 2022

January 12, 2022

Everyone knows that we are undergoing a climate change not seen on the earth before. We all understand what is...

A New Years Glimpse Into Santa Monica’s Future: Will Developers or Residents Rule?

January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

It’s a New Year, a make-or-break year for Santa Monica!! How much do you care about your city and it’s...

Opinion: Attorney General Spurs on Big 2022 Housing Battle

January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist There will be plenty of political battles next year, starting with likely reelection challenges to Gov....

Should California Have a Formal Right to Shelter?

January 3, 2022

January 3, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist On a de facto basis, Californians have had a right to shelter for many years. But...

SM.a.r.t Wishes for 2022

January 3, 2022

January 3, 2022

We wish for: All California residents to gain back the control of their Cities from Sacramento’s draconian power grab by...

SMa.r.t. 2021 Christmas Card

December 22, 2021

December 22, 2021

Dear Readers, SM.a.r.t. (Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow) wish you all a joyous Holiday Season and a Wonderful...

Seismic Water Resiliency

December 16, 2021

December 16, 2021

This is the 2nd part of two-part article  (see smmirror.com/2021/12/sma-r-t-column-its-not-your-fault/ for the first part) Last week we wrote about the...

SMa.r.t. Column: It’s Not Your Fault

December 13, 2021

December 13, 2021

This is a two-part article Two large tectonic plates are engaged in a titanic multi-million year battle to slip past...

One of LA’s Best Omakase Counters is Tucked Away in a Santa Monica Hotel Lobby

December 8, 2021

December 8, 2021

Sushi Chef Masa Shimakawa’s Soko restaurant offers an extraordinary culinary experience By Sam Catanzaro Tucked into the lobby of a...

Building Conversion in Today’s Market Environment

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

Adaptive reuse, repurposing, and up-cycling of industrial and commercial buildings (“Conversion”) for greater in-demand uses are rapidly becoming the direction...

Opinion: Shore Hotel and Unite Here Local 11

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

By David G. Brown  While reading one of the mass text messages recently sent by Unite Here Local 11 in...