VHA 2019 Votes – Veteran Hero Awards

Veteran Hero Awards Nominees

Vote today! Voting closes October 10th.

All Award Categories
Delfina Bernabe

Organization Cerritos College Veterans Resource Center

Position Admissions and Records Technician II Veterans Resource Center

Story

Delfina has worked with, and continues to work with veterans that want to utilize their educational benefits, for more than eight years. She goes above and beyond to get them their stipend when they have issues because she knows that us as Veterans we depend on that money to take care of ourself and our families and she truly understand that. Also, she is a good boss to be around, she supervises the VA work-study students at the VRC and she is a pleasure to work with. She caters to all veterans, she knows we have a lot going on out of school, so if we need a day off or any other resource she is willing to help us. Many of the certifying officials don't get recognition, but I strongly believe Delfina should, because just like us, they work hard too. We all need some type of encouragement, something to motivate us, and this is a perfect way to motivate her.
Patrick Blanchfield-Gadut

Organization LA County Sheriffs

Position Sheriff - Veteran program

Story

Pat has been connecting, education and get veterans working in the Sheriffs department the resources they need! He selflessly supports them and many other veterans. He actively helps provides educational and career opportunities to veterans and their families.
John Boersma

Organization Mission One

Position Founder/President

Story

John is the son of a marine corps. veteran and has many family members who have served from his grandfather to his uncles and cousins. John grew up watching his grandfather and his father deal with PTSD and with sadness his grandfather ended his life. John wanted to join the Marines but his father begged him not to so John with much regret honored his fathers request. Growing up John has assisted with his father in many veteran projects the main one being the Vietnam veterans memorial at the Lansing, IL airport. fast forward to the present John formed Mission One on Oct. 20, 2018 with the goal and mission to end veteran homelessness and assist local vets in need. In Dec. 2018 john delivered over 700 coats to the homeless veterans in Indianapolis.IN. That brought John some attention he didn't ask for with the local media showing up to do a story on his unselfish deed. John was very humbled by the attention but doesn't ask for any recognition on what he does. John has continued his mission with helping vets from helping with household maintenance to collecting furniture for the vets new home or just to replace the old. John has started a campaign called back pack for vets which he will distribute new back packs filled with t-shirts, underwear and toiletries for homeless vets throughout Indiana as well as coats. John is currently assisting a vet now who was living in deplorable conditions so John was able to get the vet into the hospital where it was discovered he needed a hip replacement which has been done and now he is living nicely in a temporary nursing home until his Medicaid comes through John visits with this gentleman daily. John put together a very great event called veterans of valor which is a motorcycle ride/charity event which raised money to continue the mission to end veteran homelessness and continue to assist vets in need that john started less than a year ago. John is also a certified suicide prevention counselor. I can go on and on about Johns passion and how he is the most dedicated civilian to helping veterans I have ever met he has more drive and passion than anyone else I know. John continues to give back to his community daily and will continue to help veterans as long as he can.
Julian Bond

Organization California Department of Veterans Affairs

Position Administrator, Ventura

Story

Julian Bond serves as the Administrator for the California Department of Veterans Affairs, Ventura home. He was appointed administrator of the Veterans Home of California – Ventura by Governor Gavin C. Newsom on July 8, 2019. Previously he served as the Acting Associate Director (Resources) and Chief Supply Chain Officer at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the Greater Los Angeles Area Healthcare System from 2018 to 2019. Prior to the VA, he served in the U.S. Army from 1989 to 2018, retiring with the rank of Colonel. He has commanded at all levels to include Company, Battalion, Brigade and Installation Command with overseas and combat deployments. Serving others before self is in Julian Bond's DNA, to include Boy Scouts of America (obtained the rank of Eagles Scout) where he was introduced to honoring and serving veterans.. As a Scout he led a drive to donate money to homeless veterans and participated in flag planting at National Cemeteries in the bay area. In college as a member of the ROTC program he served disabled veterans by assisting with home projects and grocery deliveries. During his 29 years of active service he devoted countless hours serving and honoring veterans through community and unit volunteer projects. Julian served as a Los Angeles County Veterans Advisory Commissioner from 2016. - 2018 assisting veterans throughout Los Angeles County. Julian continues to serve as a volunteer to assist veterans and their families through various organizations to include:: National Eagle Scout Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Army War College Foundation, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Turning Point Church and Army & Air Force Family Readiness Groups. He attended Knox College receiving a BA degree, Trident University International receiving a MS degree, Texas A&M University (Bush School of Government & Public Service) completing the Scowcroft Army Fellowship Program, and a graduate of the U.S. Army War College. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, and other awards and decorations for service.
Joe Boscacci

Organization Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Position Vice-Chairman, California

Story

Colonel Joseph Boscacci (US Army - Ret) was sworn in as CA ESGR Vice-Chair in October, 2015 Since his second retirement in 2010, he presently serves as a volunteer for the following non-profit and/or governmental organizations; Vice Chairman of the State of California Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve, a Department of Defense organization who recognizes employers for their patriotic support of their Guardsmen and Reservists and their families, Past Commander of American Legion Post 558, Los Altos, CA., Board Member of the Veterans Focus Council, Veterans Administration Hospital, Palo Alto, CA., Past President of the Association of the U.S. Army Chapter, Presidio of San Francisco CA. Professionally, he is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives and Life Member of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS).
Tom Boscamp

Organization Coastline Community College

Position Veteran Service Representative

Story

Tom Boscamp was one of the first veteran friendly faces I have met when I got out of the military. Being an Army veteran himself, Tom understands veteran needs and how to help them transition. To say he is a hero is the least of it. Tom has helped countless veterans like myself find jobs, housing, food, laptops for school, books, furniture, and even helped me find an organization to help fix my car that had broken down. As my only means of transport it was causing me much stress as I was unable to get to work or school, he helped me immediately. He puts his heart and soul into helping other veterans and his impact on the community of veterans in Orange County is huge. He has a vast amount of knowledge and resources to help others. If anyone is deserving of your award he surely is. Anyone from the Coastline Community College campus in Fountain Valley can tell you what a big heart Tom has and how much he loves the veterans the sacrifice for this country.
Kathi Bradshaw

Organization Support The Enlisted Project

Position VP/Director of Client Services

Story

Kathi has worked for various nonprofit organizations. For the past 6-1/2 years she has been working for an organization that assists Veterans who have been recently discharged and are facing financial crisis, such as being evicted, their cars being repossessed or utilities being disconnected, and/or bills going unpaid. Assistance is provided by Kathi and her staff by building financial self-sufficiency through counseling, education and grants. Initially Kathi was hired as the Director of Client Services. Recognizing the incredible impact she has made by providing so many military service individuals with assistance, she was additionally given the title of VP. Kathi .is an amazing individual who has gone above and beyond helping veterans transition to civilian life. You couldn't ask for a better Veteran Advocate or Mentor!
Donald Bramer

Organization American Freedom Fund

Position Executive Director

Story

The Story of American Freedom Fund American Freedom Fund (AFF), 501(c)(19), was founded in 2016 by three combat veterans, LT Don Bramer, MAJ Rob Miller, and Petty Officer Gabe Stecker. After their individual tours of duty, they sought a way to continue serving their brothers and sisters in arms by providing the Veteran community the opportunity; the means to maintain the fellowship; and the support of the military as they transition towards their next career. AFF empowers Active Duty, Reserve and Separated Service Members through a mission of athletics, education, and advocacy. The goal of AFF is simple: provide a place for active duty and Veteran service members to come together in a spirit of camaraderie to participate in recreational AND competitive sports; to afford the means and opportunity for student Veterans who seek a career in defense or public policy to achieve the next step in their goals; and to raise awareness and financial support for Veteran focused organizations that are providing crucial resources for Veterans in the community. Each year, AFF honors three outstanding Veteran focused organizations for their dedication and support to the Veteran community with an award at the annual Manhattans, Martinis & Mistletoe Veterans Awards Gala in Washington, DC. This event also provides AFF the opportunity to recognize and celebrate military influencers, legislators and others who continue to set the standard in the mission of empowering the Veteran community. Webster’s dictionary defines a “Patriot” as one who loves and serves his or her country. We take that a bit further by adding that it means to serve those who have stood beside us in serving this great nation. It’s not a political statement but a decree of value and commitment. We are optimistic towards the future and hope you’ll stand with us as the AFF community grows and our mission of fellowship, family and camaraderie continues to change lives!
Jack Brito

Organization VA-North Orange County Veterans Center

Position Director

Story

Jack runs the North Orange County Veterans Center at 12453 Lewis Street, Garden Grove 92840. He is a Readjustment Counseling Therapist for the Us Department of Veteran Affairs. He is also a US Marine Corps Veteran. He is a selfless person who goes above and beyond the requirements of his work to assist Veterans.
Shannon Buhrmaster

Organization Support The Enlisted Project (STEP)

Position Community Engagement Coordinator - Orange County

Story

A dedicated individual, hard working, goes above & beyond for all veterans. Willing to do what it takes to find a resource for any vet and if she can't find you resource she will help you herself. I don't just want to nominate step or the organization but also say thank you SHANNON. My nomination goes to you shannon for your outstanding achievement of making others smile. YOUR presence, smile, kind heart, and sweet loving attitude not only promotes support but most importantly LOVE. She loves all vets and supports them truly and honorably. Thank you for all you've done for me and all those around us. Marine vet and family. You've earned our respect
Michael Cano

Organization VFW Post 1956 Menifee

Position Post Commander

Story

Michael Cano is a Menifee resident and veteran of the United States Marine Corps who served as Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps. Michael began his military service by volunteering for the draft in June of 1968. He served his country as a Lance Corporal during the Vietnam War and was honorably discharged in July of 1974. He was wounded twice, receiving two Purple Hearts and for his distinguished service he was also awarded the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Palm, a Combat Action Ribbon, a Vietnam Campaign Medal Device, a Vietnam Service Medal Star, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. A longstanding member of the Menifee community, Michael is a Professor of Economics at the University of La Verne, owner of his own small business, and serves as Post Commander and active member of VFW Post 1956. Through his leadership and total devotion to veterans of the community, he has fostered a growing presence of veteran recourses available to the all veterans like Student Veterans of America which helps student veterans in pursuit of higher education and Home for Troops which builds custom homes for disabled veterans. This and a long list of other programs is why Dr. Michael Cano is most deserving of this recognition.
Denise Chalnick Marquez

Organization 4Paws4Patriots

Position MASTER TRAINER

Story

DENISE VOLUNTEERS HUNDREDS OF HOURS EACH YEAR TO TRAIN SERVICE DOGS PAIRED WITH VETERANS IN NEED OF A SERVICE DOG. DENISE TRAINS THE DOG AND THE VETERAN FOR ALL THE MAIN TASKS AND BEHAVIORS NEEDED FOR PUBLIC ACCESS AND ALSO TRAINS THE DOGS TO WORK WITH THE VETERAN ON THE SPECIFIC TASKS THAT EACH VETERAN NEEDS THEIR INDIVIDUAL SERVICE DOG TO PERFORM FROM MEDICAL ALERT TO PTSD MANAGEMENT AND OTHER ISSUES.