There are 19.3 million military veterans in the United States as of 2014, and California is home to the largest veteran population in the nation with nearly two million. That means there are countless people and organizations like the Red Cross working hard every day to support our local veterans and their families.
Two of those people have been honored as this year’s Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Heroes: Sandra Gould and Pete Pepper.
Sandra plays an important dual role, serving as both a Case Manager with Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) through CAPSLO and also as a Veteran’s Service Representative with SLO County Veterans Services. With her support, the SSVF program has assisted 143 veterans and their families.
Watch her story:
Pete Pepper is the founder of Central Coast Veterans Helping Veterans and serves as the Co-Mentor Coordinator for the San Luis Obispo Veterans Treatment Court. He has also made multiple trips to Vietnam with fellow veterans, creating an award winning documentary, Killing Memories, about their healing journey.
Watch his story:
Both Sandra and Pete were nominated by their peers and community for these awards, because of their compassion and dedication to serving military veterans.
“What Sandra has done for the homeless veterans in our county is nothing short of amazing,” said nominator Robert Ellis, “Sandra has played a most significant role in this success by connecting these veterans with the benefits they deserved, and were not getting, that enabled them to move out of the creek or off the street and into permanent housing.”
“Pete is an outstanding example of a vet advocating for vets,” said Sr. Theresa Harpin. His advocacy for local veterans has made the Veteran’s Mentor Program “one of the finest in the country.”
The work of everyday heroes like Sandra and Pete can often go unsung, but the Red Cross is proud to honor their selfless acts of compassion and courage. Learn more about the Heroes for the American Red Cross program at redcross.org/sloheroes.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company is proud to present this year’s Service to the Armed Forces Hero awards. The Red Cross is proud to be celebrating a 40-year safety partnership with PG&E.