Assembly

Assembly – Phil Ting

Veteran’s Continued Service

by Assemblymember Phil Ting

 

The men and women who serve in our country’s armed forces make incredible sacrifices

to defend America’s beliefs, values and freedoms around the world. It’s a tough job that

takes its toll on veterans and their families.

 

As an expression of thanks, members of the California Legislature last month chose to

honor veterans from across the state. This year, I honored Shannon Kissinger, a San

Francisco native and resident of the Richmond District. He served in the United States

Navy from 1996 to 2001 and now works to help homeless veterans.

 

Tingcol-7-17

Shannon Kissinger and Assemblymember, Phil Ting. Courtesy photo.

During his service, Kissinger was deployed to Okinawa, Puerto Rico, Pearl Harbor,

Portugal (for a humanitarian mission) and Ventura (for a disaster relief mission).

While he was stationed at Port Hueneme, near Oxnard, California, he attained

the rank of Equipment Operator Third Class. Kissinger also received several

accolades, including the Good Conduct Medal, Coast Guard Commendation with

Operational Distinguished Device, Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Seabee

Combat Warfare Specialist Device.

 

Even after his service in the military, Kissinger still continues to serve his community

as a licensed social worker. He is the community education coordinator at Swords to

Plowshares, a nonprofit dedicated to providing assistance to homeless, low-income

and at-risk veterans in the Bay Area. In this position, he provides cultural competency

training for law enforcement, first responders, mental health and service professionals

and others who may interact with veterans.

 

Swords to Plowshares was founded in 1974 and assists 3,000 veterans each year. The or-

ganization specializes in providing case management, mental health assessment and

referral, rapid-re-housing and eviction prevention services, supportive housing and

employment and training assistance to veterans in need. Swords to Plowshares’

mission is to ensure that all veterans are able to receive the services they need to

restore their dignity, hope and self-sufficiency and heal the wounds of war.

 

Many veterans face an increased risk for homelessness due to higher rates of post-

traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, sexual assault and substance abuse.

Nationally, veterans experiencing homelessness are more likely to live on the

street than in shelters and often remain on the street for extended periods of time.

 

Kissinger’s example of continued service and stepping up in his community is an

inspiration to all of us. Each of us has a responsibility to give back by supporting

causes greater than ourselves.

 

Honoring our veterans is not about waving a flag. It is about recognizing and respecting

their sacrifices by helping them succeed when the fighting stops and the struggles of

civilian life arise.

 

For further information, please visit the website at www.swords-to-plowshares.org.

 

Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) represents the 19th Assembly District.

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