Senator Tom Umberg Named 2022 Legislator of the Year by CA Veterans Services Officers
SACRAMENTO — Last night, retired US Army Colonel, Senator Tom Umberg (D - Orange County) was awarded with the 2022 Motomu Nakasako Award for 2022 by the California Association of County Veterans Service Officers (CACVSO).
Accepting this award, Senator Umberg stated:
“We have a moral obligation to treat our veterans with dignity because they are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our Constitution. As a veteran and a member of the Senate Committee on Military and Veterans’ Affairs, I feel strongly that we must provide returning veterans and their family members the tools they need to succeed in civilian life. I am honored to have been able to play a small role in this effort in California.”
CACVSO is an organization of professional veterans advocates. In California, The County Veterans Service Officer plays a critical role in the veteran’s advocacy system and is often the initial contact in the community for veterans services. Through the County Veterans Service Officer, the CACVSO is committed to California Counties to provide a vital and efficient system of services and advocacy to veterans, their dependents and survivors.
The Motomu Nakasako Award – CACVSO’s Legislator of the Year Award -- is named after the late “Mote” Nakasako, a Los Angeles Veterans Service Officer (CVSO) who was deeply involved in legislation to improve the lives of veterans. He was a decorated member of the Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team, one of World War II’s most decorated units.
CACVSO noted that in part, Senator Umberg was being recognized for his authorship of last year’s Senate Bill 837, which removed the $5 fee associated with printing the word “Veteran” on the California driver’s license and ID card. Since 2015, a total of 250,105 veterans have visited CVSOs to get the “Veteran” designation on their identification documents. During these visits, 103,833 veterans filed claims with the federal Veterans Administration. SB 837 is expected to increase those numbers and further streamline access to services for California’s veterans.
Senator Umberg, who is married to retired US Army Brigadier General, Robin Umberg, is a member of the Senate Committee on Military & Veterans Affairs, the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MI3), and Chair of the Veterans Treatment Committee for Justice for Vets. He has lead the way over the last decade on the creation of an Orange County Veterans Cemetery and has authored numerous bills to improve the lives of California veterans. These include measures to streamline benefits, expand legal aid to veterans, increase home loan opportunities, and establish a Veterans Hiring Preference for businesses in California.
Senator Thomas Umberg represents the 34th Senate District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Fullerton, Garden Grove, La Habra, Orange, Placentia, and Santa Ana in Orange County as well as South and East Whittier in Los Angeles County. Umberg is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and former federal prosecutor. He and his wife, Brigadier General Robin Umberg, USA (ret.), live in Orange County.