The Fourth of July is a very special day for the history of our country when 13 colonies claimed their independence from England in 1776. This was the beginning stages of what would become the United States of America. Although there has been a large divide among the people regarding their political party or feelings about elected leaders through the years, there will still be a vast number of people across the country celebrating this patriotic holiday. And patriotism does not fall short in any way with American Veterans First (AVF) a non-profit organization that has been a champion for veterans all over the Central Valley since their inception in 2016.
The mission of AVF has always been to help veterans regardless of their age or situation. So when CEO Duke Cooper got the call that a 100-year-old World War II veteran was having a problem getting medical care from a VA clinic in Modesto he went into action.
Sam Satariano was a Captain in the United States Air Force and was a pilot on a B-17 Bomber in World War II. He will be turning 101 in November this year. He began having some medical issues and was not feeling well, so he applied for services through the VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs).
The VA clinic in Modesto was not able to set him up with an appointment due to not having enough doctors to handle the load they already have. The next search was to a VA clinic in Sonora and the earliest that they could get Satariano for an appointment was in late August. Clearly, noted Cooper, this was not satisfactory at his age and for medical reasons.
So Cooper made some calls and one of his contacts was to Ted Howze a local veterinarian who recently announced he will be running for Congress to represent the 10th District. Howze is a longtime resident of the Central Valley growing up on a farm south of Fresno. He worked in the fields through college and attended the University of California Davis. For the past 24 years Howze has been in the San Joaquin Valley working as a large animal veterinarian.
With his passion for service and a supporter of veterans Howze decided to take matters into his own hands and secured an appointment for Satariano at Orangeburg Medical Group in Modesto right away, which Howze pledged to fund himself.
During a recent fundraiser for Howze and his run for congress they honored Satariano and each guest stepped up, shook his hand and thanked him for his service to our country.