CalVet came together yesterday to celebrate the retirement of our longest serving employee. Kenneth Capps recently celebrated his 43rd anniversary with the State of California, with more than three decades of that time spent helping CalVet serve California veterans. He joined the organization in 1985 after working at the Franchise Tax Board.
A veteran himself, Kenneth once served in the California Air National Guard as a ground radio mechanic. He and his wife Hilary, who is also a state employee, officially retire together this Monday. “She wanted to retire on her birthday so that’s what we’re doing,” Capps said. The couple plan to do more gardening and spend time with their grandchildren in Oregon.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
I was in my mid-30s when I started state service. I was single and lived in a little apartment 10 blocks from (work). Now I’ve been married for 29 years and raised two wonderful daughters.
When I first came here the department owned two PCs and one of the reasons I was hired was because I could work on PCs. I stayed at CalVet all this time because we are 100 percent an organization that helps people. We are not in business to do anything else but help people, and I thought that was great.
Every few years the department’s focus has changed because we have a new crop of veterans who have different needs than their predecessors, so we’re constantly evolving so that we can serve those veterans.
Of course we were all inspired by our first secretary (Jay Vargas) because previously we were just a department and Gov. Wilson made this a cabinet level agency. Vargas was a Medal of Honor winner. I was inspired because he earned his medal by saving his comrades.