Nevada Department of Veterans Services Newsletter January 2018 
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Where did the time go? It's 2018! As we ring in the New Year, we have so much to be grateful for and so much more to look forward to this year! I want to share some of the major projects and developments ahead for 2018. 

One of the biggest things this year will bring is the completion of construction on the new Northern Nevada Veterans Home in Sparks. The foundation is finished and the walls will begin going up in just a few days. Thanks to Q & D Construction, we are planning a ribbon cutting around Veterans Day (date to be determined). We have included much more information about the new home and its features in this newsletter under "Health and Wellness."

Another exciting development this year will be the construction and completion of the Battle Born Memorial, honoring Nevada's fallen. Final funding for the memorial was approved last month and a dedication of the memorial is also expected around Veterans Day in November of this year. For more on this Carson City memorial, simply look under "Honoring Nevada's Heroes" in this newsletter.

As for the year we just finished, you can expect the Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) to continue its "ramped up" outreach to veterans and their families. In 2017, NDVS participated in 392 outreach events across Nevada. This included outreach to elder veterans in care facilities. Outreach to Native American veterans. Outreach to incarcerated veterans. Outreach to gay and lesbian veterans. Outreach to veterans who experienced military sexual trauma and traumatic brain injury. Outreach to disabled veterans. Outreach to employers, encouraging them to hire veterans. Outreach to veterans of every generation at special events in both urban and rural communities!

In conclusion, we have a lot to look forward to this New Year! We are so very proud to be serving Nevada's heroes!

Respectfully,
Kat Miller 
Women Honored with Veteran of the Month and
Veteran Supporter of the Month Awards
By Chuck N. Baker
(Las Vegas) Nevada women are not shy when it comes to helping veterans in the Silver State. That spirit of service and devotion to the men and women who have worn the uniform of America’s military was on display in December when two dedicated women were recently honored in a ceremony hosted by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) in Las Vegas.

Donna Kay Lee and Chere’ Pedersen were recognized for their service and support of Nevada’s veterans during a ceremony at the Grant Sawyer Building. Lee was named Veteran of the Month and Pedersen was named Veteran Supporter of the Month.

Honoring Nevada's Heroes
Battle Born Memorial Receives Final Funding
By Terri Hendry
(Carson City) Governor Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Adam Laxalt announced approval for final funding of the Battle Born Memorial. It will be located in the Carson City Capitol Complex and it will honor, as well as, pay tribute to Nevada’s fallen.

The final funding for the memorial was approved by the Nevada Board of Examiners on December 18, 2017. Construction will begin in the summer of 2018 and be complete before November 11, 2018, Veterans Day.

Navy Vet's New Skill in Website Design Creates Demand in
Southern Nevada 
By Chuck N. Baker
(Las Vegas) Navy veteran Robert Serge discovered a hidden talent and new passion late in life. It is designing websites. Serge is now in high demand with veteran service organizations in southern Nevada, but the path that led him to this point has been anything but predictable.

Serge served in the Navy for 20 months working in an ordnance laboratory test facility. As he puts it, “We designed harbor mines and stuff like that.” He had to juggle testing dangerous mines while wading in deep waters and moving out of harms way before the explosions detonated. He trained at Fort Monroe, Virginia in the cold waters of the nearby bay. “We tested mines out there away from the land mass, so no one would get hurt,” he said. Except sometimes, they did. 

Tremendous Turnout and Support for Wreaths Across America
By Terri Hendry
(Fernley and Boulder City) Despite cold temperatures, hundreds of participants turned out at the veterans' cemeteries in Fernley and Boulder City for the annual Wreaths Across America event on December 16, 2017.

Each year, the event provides the opportunity to honor and remember those who have served in the U.S. military. Participants take a live wreath adorned with a big red bow and place it on each grave thanking the veteran aloud for their service followed by a moment of silence.

A Promise Kept to 13 Veterans at
Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley
By Terri Hendry
(Fernley, NV) The Nevada Veterans Coalition is making sure a promise is kept. Last month the remains of 13 unclaimed veterans were brought to their final resting place at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

The veterans received a military burial December 8 th with approximately 100 people attended in order to pay their respects. This was the sixth "Missing in America" mission by the Nevada Veterans Coalition, to ensure the veterans receive the honor and burial earned through their military service. According to the Nevada Veterans Coalition the names of the veterans are as follows:

Thomas Anderson (1920 - 1977) served in the US Army 1940 - 1945 WWII
James Betancourt (1926 - 1993) served in the US Navy 1944 - 1944 WWII
John Bohm (1925 - 1979) served in the US Navy 1942 - 1946 WWII
James Brady (1915 - 1972) served in the US Army 1942 - 1946 WWII
Joe Brown (1905 - 1987) served in the US Army 1942 - 1944 WWII
Dale Carrigan (1950 - 1986) served in the US Army 1968 - 1970 Vietnam
George Carson (1917 - 2004) served in the US Army 1944 - 1946 WWII
Paul Cole (1937 - 1997) served in the USAF 1954 - 1962 Korean
Willie Crumpler (1902 - 1977) served in the US Army 1942 - 1943 WWII
Howard Davis (1909 - 1990) served in the US Army 1944 - 1946 WWII
Edgar Erickson (1920 - 1992) served in the US Army 1940 - 1945 WWII
Sherwood Jerome (1926 - 1992) served in the US Army 1944 - 1954 WWII
Clyde Matthews (1906 - 1990) served in the US Navy/US ARNG 1926-1936/1940-1943 WWII

Update on the Northern Nevada Veterans Home
By Terri Hendry
(Sparks) More than 80,000 veterans are believed to live in Northern Nevada. Unfortunately, there is no skilled care or nursing home facility for these veterans and when the need arises, they are sent to far away facilities, outside the State. Because the need is so great, Governor Brian Sandoval and 2017 Nevada Legislature approved advanced funding to begin construction on a new Northern Nevada Veterans Home in Sparks.

Construction kicked off last summer following a ground breaking ceremony in July. Now, the foundation is nearly finished and in the next few days the walls will start going up on the new facility. Construction is slated for completion by November 9, 2018, that is the Friday before Veterans Day which falls on a Sunday in 2018.

New VA Effort Aimed at Reducing Veteran Suicides  
(Washington D.C.) The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the inaugural Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among servicemembers, veterans and their families. The goal is to eliminate suicide by using a comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention.  

“Of the 20 suicides a day that we reported last year, 14 were not under VA care,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “We are pleased to partner with SAMHSA to bring attention, education and support regarding suicide prevention to communities where our veterans live.”

VA Exploring Alternative Treatments for TBI and PTSD 
(Washington D.C.) The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will use two innovative treatments to ease the everyday challenges associated with living with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 
 
“We know that for a small group of veterans, a traditional approach to health care may not be the most effective,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “This is particularly true with certain chronic medical and mental health conditions. For veterans who don’t improve, we have to look for innovative, evidence-based approaches that may help them restore and maintain their health and well-being.” 

New Year, New Opportunity to
Become a Nevada Veterans Advocate
By Cathy Yates, Northern Nevada Outreach Director
(Reno) The Nevada Department of Veterans Services has a new Nevada Veterans Advocate (NVA) Coordinator. Army veteran McKenzie King joined the NDVS Outreach team in December replacing Robin Mason, who has taken on a new but different role in serving Nevada's veterans. 

NDVS currently has 309 certified NVAs throughout Nevada and hopes to double that number by the end of 2018. Veteran Advocates are an essential component to our outreach efforts. NVAs can answer many questions that Nevada veterans and family members have regarding benefits and resources available in Nevada. They can also assist veterans in filling out claim paperwork and getting that paperwork to a Veteran Service Officer for signature and processing. 

FREE Facebook Cybersecurity Course for Veterans
(Reno and Las Vegas) If you are looking for a new career in the New Year, you may want to check this out! It is a FREE course; Facebook Cybersecurity University for veterans that is available through the University of Nevada! Click the link for more information:
Veterans and Senior Citizens Small Business Loan Program 
(Carson City) The Veterans and Senior Citizens Small Business Loan program was established to give interested veterans and senior citizens (62 and older) access to low and no-cost loans for business purposes.

The program is managed by the Department of Business and Industry with funding from the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation. Loans are administered by the Nevada Business Opportunity Fund. The program provides:

  • Micro-loan amounts from $500-$20,000
  • Up to four-year terms
  • Interest-free the first year
  • Variable interest for years 2-4 at a favorable rate
  • Business must be owned by a Nevada veteran or senior citizen, age 62 or over
  • Other standards and qualifications apply, including annual program funding limits

To apply, contact Nevada Business Opportunity Fund at 702-734-3555 or visit: http://vedc.org/apply

Contacts at Business and Industry:
Marcel Schaerer
Deputy Director
702-486-4492

Karen Schnog, MA III
702-486-3755
Are You Starting a New Business?
(Carson City) Are you starting a new business or are you a veteran who owns a business? If so, both the State of Nevada and the Federal government provide a lot of great information, advice and guidance to help you build your business and put you on the path to success.

Nevada's Department of Business and Industry is a great place to start! The agency provides a Resource Center and Interactive Guide to Starting a Business, all designed to help you build a new business or even start one. 

Visit their website: http://business.nv.gov/
View the Interactive Guide to Starting a Business:   http://business.nv.gov/Resource_Center/Nevada_Business_Start_Up_Guide/

Click to continue reading

On the Federal level, you may want to check out the Veterans Business Outreach Program (VBOC). It is tasked with providing entrepreneurial development services and business training for veterans who have good business ideas and a strong drive to turn ideas into a profitable business or businesses. This highly specialized program was created to assist those who have served our country launch a successful business startup.

The Small Business Administration’s Veteran Business Outreach Centers offer a long list of services to help veterans start and grow successful businesses, including:

  • Business training
  • Counseling and mentoring
  • Referrals to local resources
  • Regional workshops
  • Business plan preparation
  • Analyzing strengths and weaknesses in a business model before launch

VBOC Nevada
The VBOC that serves Nevada staffs a Reno counseling center which is open to all veterans who want to build their business. To set up an appointment for advice and counsel, simply call 916-527-8400 or email admin@vbocix.org for an appointment in Reno.

In Las Vegas, the Nevada District Office of the Small Business Administration's local assistance program maintains an office at 300 South 4 th  Street in Vegas and offers services to all small businesses, including veterans. Call the Las Vegas office at 702-388-6611 for assistance.
Free Gift for Gulf War Veterans
If you are a Gulf War veteran or have a loved one who served in that conflict, you're 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.
Generous Donations Benefit Nevada Veterans Cemeteries
By Terri Hendry
(Fernley and Boulder City) – The Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) would like to thank two generous donors, who provided funds for equipment to help us maintain the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley and the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City.

The Marine Corps Veterans Association donated $6,000 for maintenance equipment for the cemetery in Fernley.

The second donation is from an individual, Shirley Hazel who contributed $2,000 to the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

This financial support will allow NDVS to ensure veterans are honored with dignified burials and final resting places that commemorate their service and sacrifice to our nation. If you would like more information about Nevada's veteran cemeteries visit our website at: http://www.veterans.nv.gov/page/benefits-and-services
VA Suspends Applications for New Vet ID Cards
By Amy Bushatz, MILITARY.COM
Editor’s Note: This article by Amy Bushatz originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has suspended applications for its new veteran identification card program due to a large number of applicants, according to a notice on its website.

The new, free ID card was ordered by Congress in 2015 as a way to give veterans proof of service at businesses without carrying a copy of their DD-214 forms. A week ago rolled out the online application for the card for all honorably discharged veterans, but the system appeared to immediately face technical problems.

Your Voices Are Heard!
Secretary Shulkin Will Not Shift
Veteran Homeless Funding
(Washington D.C.) The voices of veterans and veterans' advocates are being heard. Last month VA Secretary David Shulkin scrapped plans to shift money from a major homelessness program, after listening to those who told him the move would aggravate conditions for the chronically ill and vulnerable veterans.

Santa Receives High Tech Assistance from Unexpected Source  
By Chuck N. Baker
(Nevada, USA) Thousands of local veterans and their families already know Santa Claus managed to arrive safely throughout the Silver State on Christmas Eve. But did you know every year Santa gets a little safety help from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)? For the past 62 years, NORAD has kept its "electronic eye" on Santa’s sleigh to ensure he does not encounter any wayward meteors or run into any pieces of metallic “space junk” orbiting the earth!

Marine Colonel Bob Brodie of the 601st Air Operations Center winked and smiled as he explained, "Fighter jets always fly alongside Santa's wing in a close escort. Each year we also monitor him using NORAD satellites and infrared trackers to follow Rudolph!"

Army Steady but Cautious on Women in the Infantry
Three Sisters, Three Academies, Four Generations of Service
White House Press Release on new VA Hotline
On November 29, 2017, The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that the White House VA Hotline, first launched in June as part of President Donald J. Trump's commitment to reforming VA, is now fully staffed with live agents working to serve veterans 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.

Subject: Women Marines Honored During
National Inspirational Role Models Month
“The Vietnam War” Documentary Sparks Conversation for
Las Vegas Vets 
By Chuck N. Baker
(Las Vegas) — Several months ago documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novic premiered their epic “The Vietnam War” on PBS. Over 10 nights, the multi-part series reached more than 33.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings. Those numbers included thousands of Nevada veterans. As you might expect, opinions about the documentary and the war featured varied greatly. The sometimes controversial comments featured in the film also spawned a unique opportunity for individuals to share their memories and opinions and recall their images of the war in a common setting at the Las Vegas PBS station.

Do you Remember When the US Invaded Panama?
Blue Angels
The Aviation Roundup will return to Minden-Tahoe Airport Oct. 13-14, 2018, featuring the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels.
Office of Military Legal Assistance

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.
Free Legal Assistance for Veterans
Office of Military Legal Assistance Schedule

Las Vegas VA Medical Center
6900 North Pecos Road, North Las Vegas  
Auditorium, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Check in by NOON

February 23-24, 2018
May 11-12, 2018
August 10-11, 2018
October 12-13, 2018

For more information call (775) 684-1100

Reno VA Medical Center
975 Kirman Avenue, Reno
Rooms L1927 and L1929, from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Check in by NOON

January 19-20, 2018
April 13-14, 2018
July 13-14, 2018
November 2-3, 2018

For more information call (775) 684-1100
Free Legal Assistance for Veterans
Nevada Legal Services Schedule

Yerington Nevada Legal Services
720 Main Street, Unit A, Yerington
December 5, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

"Ask a Lawyer" is a free program offered by Nevada Legal Services for those dealing with a housing issue, debt collectors, foreclosure, or in need of legal advice.
Call to make your reservation at (775) 284-3491 or (775) 463-1222.

Fallon VFW Post 1002
405 South Main Street, Fallon
December 13, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

"Ask a Lawyer" is a free program offered by Nevada Legal Services for those dealing with a housing issue, debt collectors, foreclosure, or in need of legal advice.
Call to make your reservation at (775) 284-3491

Carson City Veteran's Resource Center
106 East Adams Street, Suite 203, Carson City
December 20, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Nevada Legal Services is hosting a free educational presentation about debt collection and what options and defenses are available for you. Call to make your reservation at
(775) 284-3491.

Nevada Legal Services website: www.nlslaw.net
Veteran Service Officers

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
Contact the Veterans Assistance and Support Team (VAST) office closest to you (Listings above) to see when we will be in your area!
Pahrump every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
VAMC Reno every Wednesday and Thursday
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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