Capitol Alert

A Veterans Day list of California lawmakers’ military service

A World War I Army hat was on display among other memorabilia lost or forgotten during a press conference announcing a data base to connect veterans with unclaimed property on Thursday May 22, 2014 in Sacramento, Calif.
A World War I Army hat was on display among other memorabilia lost or forgotten during a press conference announcing a data base to connect veterans with unclaimed property on Thursday May 22, 2014 in Sacramento, Calif. rbyer@sacbee.com

Supporting our troops, like being in favor of schoolchildren, is non-negotiable for lawmakers.

But some of the state legislators heaping praise on veterans have a personal stake in the matter. A handful of elected officials in Sacramento came to politics after earlier military careers; a few others still serve on reserve duty. You can see some of them saluting the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance that opens each floor session. With the state Capitol empty for Veterans Day, here’s a look at lawmakers with military backgrounds:

▪ Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside, attained the rank of colonel over nearly three decades in the U.S. Marine Corps.

▪ Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, drew on her fluency in Russian to travel the world as a translator for the U.S. Navy.

▪ Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, served as a U.S. Army medic.

▪ Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, joined the Army shortly after high school and was stationed in Frankfurt, Germany.

▪ Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, was also stationed in Germany (but in Friedberg) when he served in the U.S. Army.

▪ Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, has touted his background as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, so much so that his Twitter handle is @GeneralRoth. He served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps or JAG.

▪ Outgoing Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, who just won a seat in Congress, is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserves. Like Roth, he used to be a JAG corps officer.

▪ Departing Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, locked in a still-inconclusive congressional race, is a U.S. Navy reservist who could not make laws in 2011 because he was deployed to Afghanistan.

Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.

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