Nevada Department of Veterans Services Newsletter August 2017 
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Above: (L-to-R) UVLC President Kevin Burns, Senator Dean Heller, Governor Brian Sandoval, VSC Chairman Bill Bauman and NDVS Director Kat Miller  

By Terri Hendry
(Reno, NV) – It's a project that's been 15 years in the making, but the wait to build the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home is finally over. On Monday, July 17, 2017, more than 400 people turned out for a Groundbreaking Ceremony celebrating the beginning of construction on the project.

The timeline on construction will be aggressive with an anticipated completion date in December, 2018. In his remarks before the crowd, Governor Brian Sandoval gestured toward the dirt and brush saying, "We will go from sagebrush to service in short order." Governor Sandoval, along with Senator Dean Heller and Sparks Mayor Geno Martini, made remarks during the hour long event, held on the site of the new facility, 2 Kietzke Lane, Sparks, NV.

One of the most memorable and touching moments of the ceremony happened right before the Governor left the stage to move to another area outside the tent, where ceremonial shovels and hard hats stood ready. This moment wasn't on the program, but Veterans Service Commission President Bill Bauman and United Veterans Legislative Council President Kevin Burns delivered a surprise. They provided thanks, praise and a ceremonial gift from northern Nevada veterans to the Governor for his work and commitment in turning the new State Veterans Home from a need on a wish list, into reality.

Above: Rendering of new State Veterans Home courtesy of Van Woert Bigotti Architects

By Terri Hendry
(Sparks, NV) – As construction gets underway on the new Northern Nevada State Veterans Home, there are many ways you can play a role to ensure the new home is outstanding, as it's intended to be. The Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) is currently obtaining pricing and costs for several items where donations or sponsorships would be a big help. Below are just a few of those items:
  • Household gardens (3) (plants, water feature, furniture)
  • The chapel (stained glass windows, etc.)
  • The conservatory (Solarium garden)
  • The gymnasium (therapy equipment, magnetic wall, etc.)
  • Flag poles and flags
  • The parade ground ceremonial area
  • Transport vans (2)
  • Ground transport on site (golf carts, etc.)
  • Patios-Town Hall (benches, furniture, fountain)
  • Sports bar equipment items
  • The general store
  • The coffee shop
  • More to come

Click here to read more
By Chuck N. Baker
(Reno) - Men and women join the military for many reasons. For a number of Americans, one of the main goals of military enlistment is education. Thousands have taken advantage of the G.I. Bill that offers college financing for veterans who are eligible. That is one of many advantages offered by the federal government, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
         
But for those eligible veterans who are fortunate to reside in Nevada, there are a number of additional no-cost benefits that only Nevada residents can apply for and are eligible. Under continuous development and leading-edge improvement by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services, there is no competition between the Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (NVA). Rather, the NDVS offers adjunct benefits as a way to further honor the men and women who, either by birth or by choice, have chosen to make the Silver State their home.

Above: Make the Connection is connecting those in need to support, resources and answers.

By Terri Hendry
(Reno, NV) – If you're a veteran, or family a member of a veteran, and you're facing challenges in everyday life, there is a free and valuable online tool designed specifically for you. It is an online site called, Make the Connection. It is a friendly, easy-to-use resource that puts information, and even solutions to tough issues affecting your life, right at your fingertips. Visit MakeTheConnection.net or click the link to visit the website: https://maketheconnection.net/whats-new

Above: Geriatric assessments may improve quality of life for seniors 

By Terri Hendry
(Reno, NV) – The Sanford Center for Aging at the University of Reno, Nevada is now offering comprehensive geriatric assessments to those age 65 or older. Appointments for these assessments are now open to the public with a physician referral.

Above: Anniversary celebration in Reno. Photo courtesy of John Dickinson, Chapter President. 

(Reno, NV) How do you celebrate your 10 year anniversary? The Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 989 - has the answer. Check out photos from their celebration.  Our congratulations to the organization and the tremendous work they do for veterans and our community! Chapter President John Dickinson also shared  photos of the group enjoying the Reno Rodeo Parade, and the Virginia City 4th of July Parade. Wanna join the fun? Visit their website at: https://vvareno989.org/

Above: In Boulder City where he now resides, Fredy King smiles while reminiscing about his past life as an Army Tunnel Rat in Vietnam. 
By Chuck N. Baker
(Boulder City) - Nevada is currently the home of a veteran who goes by the name Fearless. It's a name that could either be a satirical reference or someone who's seriously earned and lives the name. In the case of Fearless Fredy King (Yes, it's Fredy with one "d"), it's the latter definition. King is a Vietnam veteran who served in combat as a Tunnel Rat. Tunnel Rats for the most part were small-framed, skinny Americans who could fit into tight holes in the soil leading to underground cities where the Viet Cong operated, out of sight.

Above: National Archive photo of U.S. troops in Korea "enjoying" a meal. 

By Terri Hendry
( Las Vegas, Nevada)- The date was June 25, 1950 when tanks from North Korea crossed the 38th parallel, the man-made boundary marking the territory of South Korea.  History shows it took a couple of days before the United States realized the scope of what had happened. According to Time Magazine, President Harry Truman was visiting friends in his home state of Missouri when he received a telephone call from Secretary of State, Dean Acheson. Another day passed as the situation in Korea continued to escalate. American civilians were evacuated as the South Korean military tried to hold the line. As for that line, at the time, one State Department official admitted the 38th parallel was an entirely arbitrary line. Time Magazine noted, "It was chosen by the World War II victors in Potsdam with no consideration for the geographical, economic or political realities of the country. But it was the border and it had been crossed."


Click here to read more. 

Above: Tough training of Navy SEALS

(Washington, D.C) – Women weren't allowed to serve in combat roles, including special operation forces such as the SEALs and SWCC, until January 2016. But there were no female applicants in the 18 months since that historic change until now.

U.S. Navy officials confirm that a woman will train with other potential officers in the hopes of becoming the first female Navy SEAL.

Above: Daniel Peterson is honored as Veteran of the Month


By Fred Wagar

(Las Vegas, NV) Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Department of Veterans Services are pleased to announce Daniel T. Peterson, Chief Warrant Officer 5, United States Army (Retired), was named as the Veteran of the Month in July 2017.  He received the honor and recognition in a ceremony held in Las Vegas on July 26, 2017.


Click here to read more. 

Above: Darryl Fisher, Founder, Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation receives Veteran Supporter of the Month.

By Terri Hendry
(Carson City, NV) – The mission for Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is simple and straightforward; "To give back to those who have given."  The Foundation, along with its Founder, President and pilot, Darryl Fisher, have fulfilled that mission and then some.  The program provides unique flights, fulfilling dreams of those now in their "golden years."
Since 2011, Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation has awarded more than 2,000 flights aboard an open-cockpit Stearman aircraft that World War II aviators used in training.

It is this mission and service that earned Ageless Aviation the Veteran Supporter of the Month award and recognition. Fisher and the Foundation were presented with the honor at a ceremony in Carson City on July 7, 2017 inside the Old Assembly Chambers. 

Above: Bobi Oates and Senator Dean Heller


By Terri Hendry

(Las Vegas, NV) – She is a familiar sight by the veterans community in the Las Vegas area. Air Force veteran Bobi Oates is always on hand to either attend or help to assist if needed in putting on a veteran event. On Friday, July 7, 2017, Nevada Senator Dean Heller recognized her with a certificate of the Congressional Record. Oates said, “He presented me with a signed copy of the record. I was very surprised, to say the least.” The honor and recognition came right before the conclusion of a Round Table discussion for about 50 members of the Las Vegas and Clark/Nye County area veterans groups. Oates represents the group with the Air Force Association, but she is also very involved in several other veterans organizations. Please join us in congratulating her the next time you see her. 

By Chuck N. Baker
(North Las Vegas) - The Department of Veterans Affairs and its arm in North Las Vegas (the Southern Nevada Healthcare System) regularly presents town hall meetings at its facility. The semi-formal gatherings inform veterans, political representatives  and others interested in current programs about the latest details concerning health care and related topics.
         
At such a meeting held on July 13, Peggy Kearns, Director of the local DVA healthcare system, explained the Top Five priorities issued by the new Veterans Affairs Secretary in Washington, Dr. David Shulkin.

The Nevada Department of Veterans Services provides support and financial assistance to all kinds of veterans and service organizations across the State of Nevada, including adaptive sporting events and organizations. This coming September, NDVS will be sponsoring a Military Sports Camp for participants and sponsors of the event. April Wolfe is the City of Reno’s Therapeutic Recreation Specialist working in the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Division. April shares the story and photos from one of the participants. It is a ride across America’s “Loneliest Roads.” It looks like it was a tough ride and challenge, but the group shows the adventure was far from lonely. Enjoy. 

Click here to read about the Adaptive Sports Nevada Challenge Beta.
Above: Fourth of July celebration in Las Vegas

By Chuck N. Baker
(Las Vegas) – Writing in the Los Angeles Times, David L. Ulin recently noted that "Holidays are a declaration of what we find important, a recognition of our values and how they evolve." That sentiment has never been more true when it comes to the annual Independence Day parade in the Las Vegas neighborhood of Summerlin.
         
This year marked the 23rd annual celebration of the event, with more than 35,000 individuals attending. More than 70 entries were present, including floats, military heroes, veterans groups, musical groups and sky-high inflatable balloons.

By Shelle Brooks
(Reno) – It was a big event aimed at helping military members, veterans, and their families, and the Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) was there for support and to make connections.


NDVS participated in the State of Nevada Career Fair, held June 22, 2017 at Reno Town Mall.  The career fair was open to Active Duty military, Veterans, National Guard, Reserve, military spouses and the general public. 


Approximately 18 Nevada State agencies participated in the job fair featuring information on employment opportunities and the benefits of working in Nevada State government. The first hour of the job fair was open exclusively to veterans, military and their spouses. 


NDVS was represented by Personnel Officer Shelle Grim-Brooks, V-TEAM volunteer Edith Raggio and Cathy Yates, AmeriCorps Program Manager.   They provided information on volunteer/member opportunities with AmeriCorps in Reno, Las Vegas, Fallon and Elko.  In addition, brochures on the NVVetNet, State Benefits for Veterans and the Nevada Veteran Advocacy (NVA) program were offered.


NDVS staff made contact with State agency personnel at the career fair to provide information on the Patriot Employer Program. It is a course designed to certify employers interested in hiring and retaining military members and veterans.  Agency personnel were encouraged to take the online training to learn about the benefits of hiring veterans and tips on creating a veteran friendly culture.  If you would like more information on the benefits and incentives in hiring veterans visit our website by going to: http://www.veterans.nv.gov/page/Patriot-Employer-Program

By Terri Hendy

(Reno, Las Vegas, Elko) – Its estimated Nevada is home to more than 300,000 veterans, service members, families and survivors. However, according to a 2016 iCIMS report, "America's Heroes at Work: The Veteran Hiring Report," a disconnect and lack of understanding still exists between veterans and employers. The Patriot Employer Program seeks to bridge this gap.

 

The program provides training, education, and awareness about the benefits and financial incentives in hiring veterans. It provides support and knowledge on recruiting, hiring and retaining veterans. (Click here to read more)

By  Terri Hendry

The State of Nevada offers a very unique way for you to show the world you're a veteran, proud of your country and your duty.  At the same time, your display will also be helping other  veterans across the Silver State. Veteran license plates are available through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and with each purchase, the money goes towards veterans outreach programs all aimed at connecting veterans to benefits, services and programs to which they are entitled and have earned.


Any veteran, his or her spouse, parent or child can purchase a veteran license plate. The initial cost for veterans plates with a standard number is $61 plus a Prison Industry fee of 50 cents per plate. The annual renewal fee is $30. The initial cost for personalized versions is $97 plus a Prison Industry fee of 50 cents per plate. The annual renewal is $50. Twenty-five dollars of the initial fee and $20 of the annual renewal are used to support outreach programs and services for veterans and their families administered by Nevada Department of Veterans Services. 


Plates with standard numbers are in stock at DMV Full Service Offices. You can order personalized versions by mail, fax, or in person at a DMV Full Service Office too. There are Veteran Unit Decal Plates available as well. The DMV is authorized to offer veterans plates with extra space for unit logos. Army Airborne and Navy Seabees are available. So are Air Force and Army logos on National Guard Plates.


Motorcycle plates for Army Airborne and Navy Seabees are available! Unfortunately, they are  not kept in stock so you will have to custom-order yours.   


Visit the Nevada DMV by clicking here: http://dmvnv.com/platesveterans.htm

If you’re a Gulf War veteran or have a loved one who served in that conflict, you are eligible for a FREE commemorative gift thanks to “Remember My Service Productions.”


The organization is providing FREE coffee table books, “25th Anniversary, The Liberation of Kuwait.” The books are beautifully produced with stunning photography. They are valued at $49.99 but will be provided FREE by calling 1-775-525-4674 or by emailing  hendryt@veterans.nv.gov to make arrangements to pick up your copy.  


The Liberation of Kuwait is a landmark first-edition book published in 2016 by “Remember My Service Productions.”  This historical commemorative was created on behalf of the Nation of Kuwait to honor those veterans serving during Operation Desert Storm.

NDVS Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) are available to assist any veteran, family member of a veteran, or Nevada resident on active duty. 

NDVS offers free assistance with filing claims for service-connected disabilities, non-service-connected pension, and other benefits afforded by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).

There are three locations; 


Reno, 775-321-4880; Las Vegas,  702-224-6025; and Elko, 775-777-1000.

Assistance includes aid in the filing of claims, support during the appeals process, representation at local hearings, and guidance with requests for discharge upgrades. To schedule a claims appointment at one of our offices, call the number of the office closest to you.

In addition to in-office appointments, NDVS offers Rural Outreach events in the following areas:


NORTH -- Austin, Gardnerville, Hawthorne, Silver Springs, Battle Mountain, Ely, West Wendover and Winnemucca


SOUTH -- Beatty, Laughlin, Mesquite, Pahrump and Tonopah

For more information on our Rural Outreach, or to schedule an appointment during one of our Rural Outreach events, please call one of the numbers listed above to contact a VSO in your region.

 ROVER DATES
             Aug 1              
Mesquite
840 Hafen Lane
Mesquite, NV
9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
  

Aug 3
Hawthorne
                                755 Sierra Way                               
Hawthorne, NV
     11 AM - 2 PM      
 
            Aug 4           
Elko and Ely Interactive Video
Ely Great Basin College
9 AM - 12 PM

Aug 7
     UNR      
            10 AM - 3 PM          

Aug 7
          TMCC           
     10 AM - 3 PM  
  
Aug 10
Beatty
  Beatty Town Office
                100 A Ave S.            
            10 AM - 3 PM           

Aug 17
Tonopah Interactive Video
1120 Globe Mallow Lane
11 AM - 3 PM

Aug 25
Winnemucca Interactive Video
Winnemucca Great Basin College
9 AM - 12 PM
Pahrump every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
VAMC Reno every Wednesday and Thursday

The Attorney General’s Office of Military Legal Assistance @EASE program is hosting free, collaborative workshops with Nevada Legal Services dedicated to drafting wills and powers of attorney for Nevada veterans. The @EASE program is the nation’s first attorney general-led, public-private partnership offering our military communities access to pro bono civil legal services. The @EASE program has won the Department of Defense Best Practices Award for best legislation and statewide pro bono services. 


Workshops will take place at least once per month throughout the State of Nevada. The workshops are free and open to all Nevada veterans and immediate family members. Representatives from the Nevada Department of Veterans Services, U.S. Veteran Affairs and other veteran organizations regularly attend to answer and address veteran questions concerning disability, pensions, employment and many other areas. For more information on upcoming workshops, please email Hcooney@ag.nv.gov and visit nvagomla.nv.gov. 

By Ryan McDonald, Outreach Coordinator AG's Office

(Carson City, NV) – We wanted to welcome all veterans to utilize the Nevada Attorney General’s Office of Military Legal Assistance (OMLA) in providing pro bono (free) legal assistance and representation to active duty, reserve and National Guard service members in a wide area of civil law matters. 

The OMLA is a comprehensive, statewide program combining the joint efforts of legal aid organizations, private sponsors and the State Bar of Nevada to address the need for affordable legal representation in our military communities.

The OMLA also currently provides assistance to veterans with wills and powers of attorney. In many cases, the OMLA services can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. 

In order to receive legal assistance from this program, active military and reserve service members should seek referral from their respective Judge Advocate General.

Veterans should seek referral from their respective Veterans Services Office.

We are constantly adding new events to our calendar, in our on-going mission to support the veteran community in Nevada. Click here to check out our VetNet calendar
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