(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Cristina Garcia announces Dr. Gloria Willingham as her 2014 “Veteran of the Year,” for the 58th Assembly District.
In recognition as “Veteran of the Year” Assemblymember Garcia honored Dr. Gloria Willingham for her service to the community at a recognition luncheon in Sacramento, with honorees from throughout the state.
“She knows firsthand the disparities and difficulties that persons from such backgrounds face, often unspoken and unshared,” Garcia said. “She encourages us all to "tell our story" to help others to regain their strength and the strength of the community.”
Dr. Willingham is a retired Lt. Colonel of the U.S. Army Reserves and worked as a nurse for over twenty years in roles ranging from nurses' aide, to staff nurse, to her retirement as a Chief, Nursing Education and Research at the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Long Beach, California. She moved into collegiate education having served many years in adjunct faculty roles and on the advisory boards of numerous nursing programs.
She organized the first group of African-American nurses in Long Beach, California to form Psi Eta chapter of Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority Inc. While on the faculty at California State University, Long Beach she was one of only a handful of African-American nurses. Dr. Willingham resides in Bellflower, CA.
“Veteran of the Year” nominations were open to all veterans who live, work, or attend school in the 58th Assembly District, including the cities of Artesia – Bellflower – Bell Gardens Cerritos – Commerce – Downey – Pico Rivera – Montebello – Norwalk.