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Loaves And Fishes Honors Veterans At Ceremony

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Army veteran Richard Dean accepts an American flag pin from Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg during a ceremony honoring Dean and other homeless veterans at Loaves and Fishes on Friday, Nov. 11.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The Loaves and Fishes campus for homeless services held a special event Friday for veterans in Sacramento as dozens of veterans received a flag pin and thanks for their service as part of the ceremony.

Richard Dean was a medic for the U.S. Army Reserves in the early 1980's and says appreciates the recognition bestowed on him and other veterans present at the ceremony.

"It affirms a lot of things considering who's really responsible for our freedoms," Dean says. "It's not the politician. It's not anything. It's the veterans. We are the ones who sacrificed our lives for our freedoms."

Sister Libby Fernandez is the executive director of Loaves and Fishes. She says veterans make up about 13 percent of the homeless population.

"We just housed in Sacramento 100 men and women into Mather Village," Fernandez says. "And that just opened up a few months ago and they're working on phase two of that. So, we're really working, especially, with our veterans. There's a lot of funding coming down from the federal departments (and) the U.S. military to really get our homeless veterans off the streets."

Fernandez and several other veterans who are not homeless also received pins and thanks.

The ceremony was also the first time the public had seen the new memorial that lists the homeless who have died on the streets of Sacramento.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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