South Bay veterans honored by Santa Clara Co. for contributions in healthcare

Lauren Martinez Image
Thursday, November 9, 2023
South Bay veterans in healthcare honored by Santa Clara Co.
Veterans who have served the country and now the county are being recognized by Santa Clara Valley Healthcare.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Veterans who have served the country and now the county are being recognized by Santa Clara Valley Healthcare.

Staff members at Valley Medical Center, who are military veterans, are being celebrated for their commitment to selflessness.

Pattie Beebe served nine years for the Air National Guard, including time as a nurse on the Channel Islands.

"Public service is just part of who I am," Beebe said.

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She's now an RN and nurse educator at Valley Medical.

"It's nice to be recognized, you know. Everybody has different facets into who they are in their history, and it's nice to have the recognition, and I also really wanted to come show up for the other veterans too," Beebe said.

Joseph Grijalva joined the Army when he was 20 years old. He said it provided discipline and structure.

"When I was growing up, I was getting in a little bit of trouble. OK, so this guy who lives across the street from me was a Vietnam veteran, and he convinced me to join the Army, cause he said 'You just get in trouble Why don't you join the service?'" Grijalva said.

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Supervisor Otto Lee was the guest speaker at the event.

Lee is a 28-year Navy Veteran. He first served during the Gulf War, and in 2008 was deployed to Iraq, where he helped plan and execute the largest drawdown of troops since Vietnam.

Lee presented each veteran with a certificate of appreciation.

"They don't get to stay at home, right? These are folks who come to work every day, dealing with the pandemic and this is the type of selfless service we see those who have served our military those who have served in the hospital so these are true heroes in our community," Lee said.

Other local Veterans recognized included Steve Fondacaro, a former infantryman in the Army who went to West Point in 1972 and spent 30 years in uniform.

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Fondacaro helped bring the first Stand Down event to Santa Clara County in July.

Stand Down is a two-day period that brings all the veterans services and providers to one place.

Supervisor Lee said Stand Down will now be held in the South Bay annually.

Lee said, looking forward, state officials from the county just acquired housing for homeless veterans.

"We are finishing the work this week hoping that once we get this 4.3 acres up in 10 Kirk Avenue this will be one site that will be serving a lot of homeless veterans to give them even more services to give them connected to the VA or Veterans Services Office and potentially because of the site we can renovate it cause right now if you walk in it feels like the 70's. We really need to renovate it, make it a better place," Lee said.

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