Nov42019

Veteran of the Year 2017-2019

Ron BraiserRon Braiser 2017RON BRAISER

 

Occupation:  Retired veteran. I spend my time sharing God’s plan with folks as a pastor, and I direct a community-based ministry called A Hand-Up.

 

Hobbies, interests: I spend my spare time camping, doing estate sales and traveling. I enjoy doing anything with my hands – arts, crafts, construction and destruction.

In 1972 stopped in Yuba City to visit family, where he fell in love with the area and his loving wife, Renee, and decided to make the area home.

 

Ron was a Green Beret when he was diagnosed with emphysema and was told he would only live for a short time. But, he said, he trusted in the Lord and made it through surgery and chemotherapy. After his military career ended, he went into ministering and founded A Hand Up Ministry through the Church of Glad Tidings, spreading the word of God to the homeless.

 

 

Ron has served as chaplain on the board of The Yuba Sutter Veterans Stand Down for many years.  He is always there to offer blessings over Stand Down  events and to offer support to the many Veterans served by the Stand Down.

 

Ron describes the importance of his faith as: “If not for my faith and the faith of oh so many in my church and family, I would not be here today. Faith has carried me through many many storms. I stand firm on these facts: Without faith, I would be a shell of a man. With faith, I have God, hope and belief. With faith, all things are possible through God. I spend most of my time sharing God’s plan with others, finding the hurting, helpless folks and loving on them as Jesus did. I share my passion for God, life and eternity with folks. I continue to listen to my pastor’s teachings and training to better prepare my daily walks. I follow along in my Bible daily. I do all God gives me as tasks to do his will in my walk.”

 

Ron works in the homeless community serving all people in need, including the Veterans who are among the homeless population.  Ron’s ministry continues to provide meals and worship services and through his outreach into the community, Ron and the Hands Up Ministry is able to reach out to and provide to the ever-growing homeless community.  An annual Donation Station and Chili Cookoff led by local businessman, David Holycross collects donations of clothing, blankets and other essential items to be donated to The Hands Up Ministry for Ron to distribute to those who need the items.

 

Ron was described one of the many served at a past Thanksgiving Dinner event as One of God’s finest servants on planet Earth!

 

Marvin KingMarvin King - 2018Marvin King

Since 2003, Marvin King has served as Veteran’s Advocate through the Yuba Sutter Veterans Service Office.  This role involves helping our veterans with navigating through the VA disability process, to include application, record research and retrieval, and appeals.

Prior to his position with the Veterans Administration, Marvin was in the United States Air Force.  At the time of his retirement, Marvin served as Section Supervisor for the Electronic Warfare / Data Link maintenance shop.

Marvin attended Yuba College from 2003 – 2007 where he received an Associate Degree in Business Administration and Management, General

He continues to pursue his education through University of Phoenix with the goal of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Bachelor’s degree in Government Administration, and a Masters in Government Administration.

 

Marvin  has served on the board of The Yuba Sutter Veterans Stand Down for many years.  Marvin keeps Stand Down members aware of the changes in VA regulations that affect their benefits.

 

 Under Marvin’s leadership, Yuba County is nearly tops in the state for veterans financial services. It ranked second best in the percentage of veterans receiving compensation or pension benefits through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Sutter County wasn’t too far behind,

Marvin King, said he believes the area’s success boils down to the outreach efforts that the local County Veterans Service Office has focused on. 

 

“From my perspective, we have been doing outreach for decades; we’ve been doing our best to reach into the veteran’s community to help every one of them obtain any benefits they are entitled to,” King said. “Looking at our utilization rate shows that we have been reasonably effective at it.”

 

Marvin and his team work diligently with Veterans, Spouses and family members of deceased Veterans to help them understand and apply for benefits they may be eligible for.  

 

“We encourage veterans to come in, talk to us, let us look at their cases and see if there are any ways we can help or get available benefits to them,” King said.

 

 “There are a lot of different specialty categories that we understand and have been trained on that we can help our vets obtain those benefits that they might not realize are available,” he said.

 

There could be available benefits for ex-POWs, a veteran who was exposed to agent orange or radiation, or even for someone who experienced symptoms of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. 

 

 When Marvin’s office gets involved, they look at the reasons the VA may have turned a veteran down and determine what we need to do to overturn those denials to turn them into grants. It’s almost like a mission for them to, it gives them great satisfaction when they win one for the veterans.

 

Tom WaltherTom Walther - 2019Tom Walther

 

Tom enlisted in the US Air Force 4 October, 1964. He was a communications specialist serving tours at Beale AFB, Istanbul Turkey, and Hill AFB, Utah. In 1966 Tom cross trained into the computer operations field, then soon after went to computer programming school at Keesler AFB, Mississippi. From 1970-1974 he was assigned to the Communications Computer Programming Center at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. In 1974 he was assigned to Hill AFB, Utah as an on-site programmer. In 1976 he was transferred to Hickam AFB, Hawaii as an on-site programmer. He completed his degree and went to Officer Training School in 1978.

 

After graduation, he was assigned to NORAD in Colorado Springs Colorado. He was in charge of the display software section of the Cheyenne Mountain complex from 1978 to 1982. He was then assigned to the System Programming Agency at PAVE PAWS, Beale AFB, California. He retired in 1988 as a Captain.

 

 

 

EDUCATION:

1970 - NCO Leadership School, distinguished Graduate and Commandant award winner; 1977 Associates degree, Community College of the Air Force; 1978 Bachelor’s degree, Chaminade University, Hawaii; 1978 Officer Training School, Distinguished graduate; 1996 Masters degree, Golden Gate University, Sacramento, CA

AWARDS: Meritorious Service Medal, two oak leaf clusters; Joint Service Commendation Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal, one oak leaf cluster; Air Force Achievement Medal; Good Conduct Medal, three oak leaf clusters; National Defense Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal.

 

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES AND AWARDS:

Tom has served as an officer and board member of many Military and Community Service Organizations which include: California Military Officers Association, Area 1, 2017- present; Yuba-Sutter United Way; Beale Military Liaison Council; Yuba/Sutter County Emergency Food and Shelter Program; Yuba/Sutter County Emergency Housing Assistance Program; Yuba City Early Risers Kiwanis Club and Cambridge Junior College Advisory Committee.  In addition, Tom has received numerous awards for his service.  These awards include:  Early Risers Kiwanis Club, Distinguished Service Award 2019; YSC United Way Bill Smith award, 2018; Beale High Flyer, 2018; 3rd Assembly District, Veteran of the Year, 2017; YSC United Way, President’s award, 2017; Early Risers Kiwanis Club, Kiwanian of the Year, 2013; YS Chamber of Commerce, Honorary Lifetime Member Award, 2013; Early Risers Kiwanis Club, Distinguished President, 2012; YS United Way, Nancy Ferreira Leadership Award, 2010; Early Risers Kiwanis Club, Distinguished Service Award, 2009; American Cancer Society, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2007; Early Risers Kiwanis Club, Distinguished Service Award, 2004; Early Risers Kiwanis Club, Distinguished Service Award, 2003; Peach Bowl Lions Club, Community Service Award, 2002; Early Risers Kiwanis Club, Kiwanian of the Year, 2002; Division 14 Kiwanis, Kiwanian of the Year, 2002; Yuba City Early Risers Kiwanis Club, Citizen of the Year, 1999; Yuba City Early Risers Kiwanis Club, Distinguished President, 1998; YS United Way, “Pedro”, Community Volunteer of the Year,1998; American Cancer Society, Hall of Fame Award, 1997

 

 

 

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