Valley Center, CA… The Chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians Bo Mazzetti received the first issued 2018 CalVet Coin during his recent trip to the State Capitol. The symbolism of the CalVet coin honors all California veterans.
“As an Indian veteran, I was deeply humbled and honored to receive the first 2018 CalVet coin issued by Secretary Imbasciani in the state,” stated Bo Mazzetti, Chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians. “Defending the United States instilled a great sense of pride, dignity, determination and the will to continue even under adverse odds. I look forward to working closely with Secretary Imbasciani and our Indian veteran population to reach our shared needs and values.”
The new CalVet coin represents key aspects from the California state flag and, on the obverse, shows all service medallions.
“Our great state is home to the largest Native American veteran population in the United States, but many are not receiving all the benefits they have earned through their service,” stated Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs. “At CalVet, we’re committed to clearing any barriers Native Americans veterans may face in claiming these benefits, and meeting with Chairman Mazzetti is a step toward realizing that goal. It’s one of many meetings I hope to have with the Native American veteran population, and from one veteran to another, I hope the CalVet coin given to Chairman Mazzetti is a friendly reminder to return often.”
The most prominent symbol on the coin is the grizzly bear, a symbol of strength and unyielding resistance. The bear embodies a powerful surge of courage that every warrior taps into during a time of need. The bear travels west, a reference to the farthest continental state, California. Behind the grizzly, is a field of white, the great equalizer, containing a balance of all the colors of the spectrum, diversity, completion, and wholeness, the perfect transition from warrior to veteran. The single red star is a symbol of bravery. The green earth the bear walks on represents the progress CalVet has made since its inception in 1946 in honoring all California veteran by connecting them and their families with their earned benefits through education, advocacy, and direct services.
Turn the coin over and each of the five branches of military service float in a field of dark blue. This color conveys the power, and authority of the U.S. Armed Forces. CalVet’s mission statement wraps tightly around the five branches of service.