Assemblymember Jim Frazier Honors Derek McGinnis and Janet Wilson As His 2014 Veterans of the Year

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sacramento, CA – Today, Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D – Oakley) named Derek McGinnis and Janet Wilson as his 2014 Veterans of the Year for the 11th Assembly District.

“I appreciate the monumental sacrifices that Derek and Janet have made for our state and our country,” said Assemblymember Frazier. “The bravery they have exhibited in the line of duty cannot be overstated, and it is my privilege to honor them as my Veterans of the Year.”

An 11-year veteran of the United States Navy, Derek McGinnis was serving as a Hospital Corpsman in Fullujah, Iraq, when he was hit by a vehicle-borne IED. He was severely wounded and honorably discharged from the military following an extensive recovery process at both the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration medical treatment facilities.

“The recognition I am receiving is a tribute to the dedicated military service members that performed exceptionally in preserving my life,” said McGinnis.

Upon returning to civilian life, McGinnis earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Health Care Administration and a Master of Social Work degree. Today, he distinguishes himself professionally as the Health Care for Homeless Veterans/Grant and Per Diem Liaison at the Veterans Administration Stockton CBOC in French Camp. McGinnis has also served as an appointee to the Board of the California Department of Veterans Affairs, and is the author of the book, Exit Wounds: A Survival Guide to Pain Management for Returning Veterans and Their Families.

“Derek McGinnis has exhibited tireless dedication to protecting our nation’s freedom since his service began in the United States Navy,” said Assemblymember Frazier. “Even after being severely wounded in 2004, Derek continues to devote himself to supporting the veteran community through his spirited public service efforts.”

Janet Wilson served in the United States Army during the Vietnam era, and went on to hold elected and appointed offices in the American Legion at the post, district, department and national levels for over 25 years. She formerly served as the American Legion’s Membership Director and has worked to help mentor new members through her involvement in the “Make a Difference, Pass It On” project. On June 21, 2014, Wilson was elected as State Commander of the American Legion Department of California, making her the first female veteran to hold this position in California.

“It is such an honor to be recognized for this prestigious award,” said Wilson. “I am overwhelmingly humbled by being included.”

Wilson has donated her time and energy as an active member of various committees, board positions and as a member of both the Legion’s Women’s Auxiliary and the Women’s Legionnaires 20 & 4 Honor Society. She has donated countless volunteer hours to charitable organizations within her community, and has provided quilts to the Wounded Warriors Project, VA Hospitals and area hospices.

“Janet has exhibited the core ideals of patriotism throughout her lifetime,” said Assemblymember Frazier. “Her service, both in the line of duty and in philanthropic efforts, has made a tremendous contribution to both our country and to improving the lives of our veterans.”

The California State Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee will hold an annual luncheon in Sacramento on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 to honor our service men and women.

To contact Assemblymember Jim Frazier please visit his website at or call his District Office at 707-399-3011.

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