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Assemblyman Flora honors Ripon’s Jorge Velez as 2019 Veteran of the Year for 12th Assembly District
Assemblyman Heath Flora, second from left, with Ripon veteran Jorge Velez and his family members.

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Flora honored Lieutenant Commander Jorge Velez from Ripon as the 2019 Veteran of the Year for the 12th Assembly District.

For a number of reasons, the California Veterans Benefit Fund cancelled this year’s Annual Veteran of the Year event at the Capitol. However, a number of lawmakers chose to honor their veterans anyway.

“Lt. Commander Velez has served for 18 years in the U.S. armed services including a combat deployment overseas,” said Assemblyman Flora. “I was proud to recognize him as our Veteran of the Year, and to show him around our state’s Capitol today.”

“I’m honored to receive this recognition from the State Assembly and to raise awareness of veterans’ issues in the Central Valley,” said Velez. “It’s been the honor of my life to serve in the U.S. armed forces and I’ll be spending the rest of my life doing whatever I can to help the veteran community.”

Lieutenant Commander Jorge Velez has served with the US Army, the California National Guard and the US Navy Reserves since 1984 with a break in service in-between. In that time, he has received many awards and recognitions for his outstanding service. Lieutenant Commander Velez served in a combat hospital in Kandahar Air Field, caring for US, NATO and local casualties. Operation Enduring Freedom started in 2001 and ended with his combat rotation in 2014. 

In 2005, Lieutenant Commander Velez graduated Magna Cum Laude from the CSU Stanislaus nursing program. He currently works as an Interventional Radiology/Cardiac Cath Lab nurse and is the Kaiser Permanente Veterans Association, Central Valley Area Chapter Membership Chair. Lieutenant Commander Velez serves as Commander of VFW Post 1051 Ripon and passionately seeks to recruit OEF and OIF veterans or any current combat conflict veterans to ensure the longevity of the VFW.