Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 04th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall With Supervisor Greg Caput

Greg KaputWhat is the latest in the county’s relationship to and improvement of services for local veterans?

Since I’ve become a member of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, I have taken an interest in a multitude of subjects. One that is particularly close to me is that of honoring and looking after our local veterans.

To this end, I recently authored an ordinance proposal to fly the POW-MIA flag at all county buildings to salute those prisoners who never came home, be it from Vietnam or any other of our armed conflicts. Whereas the flag specifically honors prisoners of war and those missing in action, it is a testament to the valor of all our soldiers and military personnel who have put their lives on the line for our country.

Whereas the ordinance never passed, a consequent resolution did pass and the flag will fly from the Watsonville and Santa Cruz Veterans Memorial Buildings every day as well as the Ocean Street County Governmental Building on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

This action was a sort of icing on the cake for me as it followed the county’s successful endeavor of financing the Santa Cruz Veterans Memorial Building’s renovation, a $3.5 million project that required the issuing of Certificates of Participation (bonds). The repair will include restoring the structural integrity of the building, most specifically the foundation and compromised roofs and walls to guard against potential seismic damage. The building also had a number of electrical, fire alarm and asbestos/lead paint issues that are being addressed as well.

While the price tag on these actions is nothing to take lightly, we will be restoring the multiple functions which the building served—first and foremost the housing of veterans’ services offices and veterans’ affiliated groups, but also the lost rental opportunities for parties and dances as well as yoga, dance and singing classes. The building will once again be a central hub for community activities and a market space for entrepreneurs. Lastly, it will also be a potential disaster relief station in the event of an emergency as opposed to being a disaster-liability itself.

To honor the many veterans who would no longer be able to use the facilities, my office hosted a “Salute and Send-off” to the building providing the opportunity for some of our elder veterans to potentially see the building for the last time. Whereas these elderly World War II and Korean vets spat at the fearful thought of the building collapsing on them, they were all too aware of the possibility of never again seeing this building that holds so many memories for them and their families and were ecstatic to have this opportunity.

Fortunately, Veterans Services are still provided at the Emeline Center as well as the Watsonville Veterans office. However, just as in all other departments, budget restraints always loom and despite these challenges we at the county continue to ensure resources are provided to our vets. I personally share an office with the Veteran Services representatives in Watsonville and am always happy to greet and assist veterans in any way I can. Furthermore, I have made my space available to counselors and volunteers who help soldiers deal with problems ranging from post-traumatic stress syndrome to bureaucratic confusion.

In addition to the difficulties of adapting to civilian life, homelessness and a range of other problems continue to afflict the veteran community. The Veterans Services Office is constantly desirous of reaching out to new veterans who may not even know of their eligibility for services. If you or someone you know would like to speak to one of our representatives, please contact us by email:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; phone: 454-4761; or visit our offices at 1400 Emeline Ave., Building K, 3rd Floor in Santa Cruz and 215 East Beach St. in Watsonville.

Comments (3)Add Comment
written by DV , September 21, 2012
Thanks to the tireless work of Terry Hutchinson of the "Tropic Lightning" in Nam proper recognition of the thousands of Missing in Action and POWs will be illuminated for a generally ungrateful and apathetic nation. Only veterans, their families and the families of the missing understand the importance of this recognition so closure can be brought to the suffering loved ones and comrades in arms. Survivor guilt is a strong mistress.

Thanks Panhead Hutch
Welcome Home
written by Bob Patton, September 20, 2012
Thanks to Greg for his support of the local veterans issues. With the growing numbers of service men and women returning to their homes, and families in our community it is ever so important to have a place that they can gather for services to help them re-enter civilian life in as seemless and productive manner as possable. The Veterans Building at Emeline, Building E, is focused on that. Each Wed. walkin services including VA doctors, housing, job placement, training, peer mentoring, and free lunch. Other days self improvement classes like art, writing, and exercise are conducted.
written by 21st Century Vet, Bill Manich, September 19, 2012
The Emeline Veterans Center is providing services to veterans on a walk-in basis at Building E, 1040 Emeline.

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Making a Scene

As it celebrates its 30th year, Santa Cruz County’s Open Studios is one of the most successful in the country—and a make-or-break event for many local artists


A Ritual & Initiation

The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 2

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Extra Pop

Assembly’s pop-up space goes into regular rotation, Cabrillo wine dinner, and a visit to Mozaic


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist


Downhill Cellars

An easy-drinking Chardonnay from Downhill Cellars


If whales have a message for humans, what might it be?

“Do not come in the water and join us.” Howard Hall, Santa Cruz, Retired