Art Patterson named Veteran of the Year

by Placerville Newswire / Jul 12, 2016 / comments

Ponte Palmero CEO Greg Kasner, El Dorado County Auditor-Controller Joe Harm, Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, Veteran of the Year Art Patterson, and Pete Conaty with the Department of Veteran Affairs, left to right, pose for a photo during the Legislature's event honoring veterans. Courtesy photo

Arthur “Art” Patterson of El Dorado County was recently named Veteran of the Year for the 6th Assembly District by Assemblywoman Beth Gaines, R-El Dorado Hills.

Patterson served in the military for 23 years, two years in the Army and 21 years in the Air Force. He was 17 years old when he joined the military by asking his grandmother to sign what she thought was his report card. Following his service in the Army, Patterson returned to college in Indiana where he decided to join the Air Force. He flew 75 air combat missions in North Korea with a total of 488 hours in the sky as part of a special mission. Later he cross trained to become a first sergeant and was assigned to a radar base in Red Bluff and then ultimately retiring from the Air Force in 1969.

“I am honored to recognize Arthur Patterson as our Veteran of the Year,” said Assemblywoman Gaines. “Arthur sacrificed his way of life as a teenager to help protect our country. He exemplifies hard work and dedication to his country and to his community and I could not think of a more deserving Veteran to receive this award.”

Following his service he became a deputy sheriff in Tehama County for two years and then he started a local food distribution company and became the first person to put packaged tortillas on grocery shelves. Now Patterson and his wife live in Ponte Palmero senior community in Cameron Park where he serves on the Resident Council and helps other veterans in the community get the care they need from the VA. Additionally, Patterson volunteers at the fund developer for Motherlode Rehabilitation Enterprises (MORE), a foundation dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities and enhancing their quality of life.

“I felt honored to be nominated as Veteran of the Year. I was very proud sitting with my fellow veterans,” said Arthur Patterson.

Throughout his military career, Patterson received the following medals: Combat Crew Wings, Air Medal with 3 Clusters, President Unit Citation, American Campaign Medal for WWII, Asian Pacific Campaign Medal, Japan Victory Medal, Japan Occupation Medal Korean Service Medal with 3 Battle Stars, United Nations Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Presidential Unit Award.

Patterson celebrated at the ninth annual Assembly Veteran of the Year luncheon with his fellow honorees, in which legislators honored veterans of their district.