Last week our very own Starlyn Lara, Women Veterans Program Manager, was honored by the California State Assembly at the Seventh Annual Veterans of the Year Luncheon. The event was held on June 25th at the Sacramento Convention Center where 73 veterans were honored from every branch of the military and every conflict since WWII. Our Executive Director, Michael Blecker, also attended.
In recognizing Ms. Lara, state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett stated, “Starlyn Lara is a humble hero that embodies the essence and spirit of a patriot. We currently have 185,000 women veterans that live in California and that number will continue to increase as more men and women return home as the drawdown of troops continues and the war in Afghanistan comes to a close. It is vital that we have specialized services and resources for our women veterans, in particular, and I am grateful that Ms. Lara is a leader in the effort to assist our growing population of female veterans.”
Star Lara served nearly twelve years on active duty in the US Army from 1995-2007. During her service she achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant and was assigned to multiple duty stations as well as deployments that included Bosnia during Operation Joint Forge and Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was awarded the Combat Action Badge and two Meritorious Service Medals for her service.
Ms. Lara was appointed to the San Francisco Mayor’s Disability Council and also serves as commissioner on the Alameda County Veterans Affairs Commission. She serves on the Cal Vet Women Veterans Leadership Conference Planning Committee and on the advisory board for Women Veterans Connect, Inc., a registered non-profit corporation. Ms. Lara is an active member of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 7, as well as the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9601. She is also an advisor to Girl Scout Troop 30338 for the Silver and Bronze Award Project.
“Ms. Lara continues to distinguish herself in the East Bay and California as an active community leader,” Senator Corbett announced. “She advocates tirelessly on behalf of veterans and their families by connecting them to educational and professional opportunities, housing and benefits counseling that they need upon returning home after their courageous service to our nation. I am proud to name Starlyn Lara as the 10th State Senate District’s 2014 ‘Veteran of the Year.’”
Congratulations on this recognition of your continued service, Starlyn Lara!