Nevada Department of Veterans Services Newsletter June 2017 
To print this e-Newsletter for distribution, simply copy and paste into a new 
Word Document. To enlarge the printed version, use the
enlargement function on your printer settings.

By Chuck N. Baker 

(Boulder City, NV)-- It's no secret to Nevadans Governor Brian Sandoval has continuously stated he has been, and continues to be, determined to make the Silver State the most veteran and military friendly state in the nation. He continued to make that pledge a reality on Memorial Day during his remarks and actions at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. In his remarks, he noted the Nevada State motto is "All for our country" and the State flag carries the statement "Battle Born."

Some 350-plus people attended the annual event, hosted by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. Sandoval spoke at length to the attendees, made up mostly of veterans, along with Reservists, elected officials, dignitaries, family members and allied groups such as auxiliaries, Boy Scouts, Devil Dogs and others. "Only when we remember our past do we lay the foundation for a stronger future," Sandoval said. He continued by briefly noting a few of the major conflicts in which American servicemen have fought. Sandoval also mentioned it was one year ago that Nevada dedicated a world class monument to veterans in Las Vegas.

Click here to read more.

By Terri Hendry 

(Fernley, NV)— The sun was just coming up when families and friends started filing into the Northern Nevada State Veterans Cemetery. "They started arriving around 6 AM," said Cemetery Superintendent Eric Grimes. "We're expecting over 3,000 people today," he said.  

The early guests helped set up chairs and prepare for the big event that would happen hours later at 11:00 AM. A slight breeze had kicked in by the time the ceremony started. Grimes' attendance prediction turned out to be spot on. Nearly 3,000 people gathered under tents and the cemetery pavilion when Nevada Department of Veterans Services Deputy Director Fred Wagar began his opening remarks. 

Click here to read more.

By Terri Hendry

(Carson City, NV) – State lawmakers took additional steps to build a new Northern Nevada State Veterans Home. A key joint subcommittee approved two measures; one providing construction funding and another allocating money to operate the new home. If the full State Assembly and Senate agree with the joint subcommittee and, of course, the Governor signs the final approved budget, construction on the new home could being in July of this year.  

"It is truly 21st century design of assisted living in Reno," said Kevin Burns, President of the United Veterans Legislative Council (UVLC). He added, "There will be a Memory Care unit in there. There basically won't be anything that can't happen in that home that happens in the finest facilities in this country, when it comes to taking care of people."

Click here to read more.

By David Johnson  

(Carson City, Nevada)—We're getting closer to learning what Nevada's Fallen Soldier Memorial on the Capitol Complex grounds in Carson City will look like as the process to select an artist continues to move forward.  

Recently, three finalists were selected from a field of ten. The three presented their models and proposals before members of a subcommittee of Veterans Memorial Affairs in Reno on April 21st. Each finalist had to follow the same guidelines in developing their proposals including: 1) provide a place for personal reflection; 2) interact with the environmental surroundings; 3) include an educational component; 4) reflect a sense of timelessness; 5) and include all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.  

The three finalists selected are RE:site Studio of Houston, TX. (Visit studio website and view its work: http://www.resite-studio.com/); Gordon Huether Studio of Napa, CA.(View website and work https://www.gordonhuether.com/); and PUNCH ART of Las Vegas, NV. (No website available.)    

The finalists were scored in three categories; They had to demonstrate consistency, they also had to show an understanding and ability to execute what was being proposed and finally each had to demonstrate the ability to complete the project on time and on budget.  

The Memorial project has a budget of $250,000. The funding is being provided through donations to the Nevada Fallen Memorial Gift Account. This Memorial project was initiated by Nevada lawmakers during the 77th session of the Legislature. SB230 provided for the design, construction or installation and maintenance of a Memorial dedicated to Nevada's Fallen Soldiers on the Capitol Complex in Carson City.  

On June 29, 2017 the subcommittee's findings will be discussed at the Veteran Services Commission meeting in Elko, NV. It's anticipated the VSC will make its recommendation for the selection of the memorial during that meeting. 

By Chuck N. Baker

(Las Vegas, NV)-- Thousands of small American flags, all strategically placed in green grassy areas of the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, rolled like an ocean wave with each puff of the wind. On Saturday, May 27, two days before Nevada joined 49 other states in celebrating Memorial Day, hundreds of volunteers from came out in force to place flags on each individual grave site. Each flag was hand planted in honor of veterans, and in some cases spouses of veterans, in their final resting places.  

In many cases, those placing flags represented organized groups of veterans from military units. Others volunteered from recognized veterans organizations. Still others were from auxiliary- related groups. They worked at assigned areas of the cemetery grounds, gently placing flags on green grass covering individual sites of the fallen. In addition to groups, there were dozens of civilians and individuals not aligned with any particular organization and yet, in their own way, they were surely connected. It was their shared remembrance and deep desire to honor those many men and women and their family members who stepped up to protect the nation in times of peace, and in times of armed conflict.

Prior to the volunteers setting out around the grounds, Cemetery Supervisor Chris Naylor addressed the crowd to thank all for their efforts. And he encouraged the individuals to not rush, noting that by placing the flags, they are "recognizing and honoring those who fell. If you only put out one flag today, that's a good way to honor those who have fallen."  He noted that 39,000-plus individuals were interred at the cemetery, and 27,700 flags were being placed.

He also explained that as a special thanks all the volunteers would receive a commemorative pin denoting the 100-year anniversary of WWI."Thanks for coming out and remembering veterans," he concluded. 



Boulder City Review provided pre-publicity: http://bouldercityreview.com/news/ceremonies-mark-memorial-day-0
By Terri Hendry 

(Reno, NV)The Office of Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Department of Veterans Services are pleased to announce highly decorated U.S. Navy veteran Robert Snider has received the "Veteran of the Month" award and recognition for May 2017. 

Snider's volunteer work directly supports veterans. He serves on leadership roles in the Fleet Reserve organization as well as participates in several events for the chapter. Additionally, he is a member of the American Legion participating in youth programs and teaching flag etiquette. He has assisted with fund-raising efforts with the Nevada Veterans Memorial Plaza, a memorial in Sparks, Nevada to honor all of Nevada's soldiers killed in the line of duty. He has participated in VA Homeless stand-downs giving needed items to homeless veterans. Snider has served as Chairman for the VFW "Department of Nevada Buddy Poppy" program and has received VFW national recognition for his dedication and outstanding work. He is an active member of several service organizations including; Association of the United States Army Associate member, Navy League, Fleet Reserve Association, American Legion Post 30 and Disabled American Veterans. As a VFW Gold Legacy life member, and through his volunteer work with the VFW, Snider has served as an aide-de-camp for several Department Commanders, Assistant Member Chair and several other National Committees.

Snider has also provided direct support to the military by participating in several National Guard events, attending Welcome Home ceremonies, as well as deployment and family ceremonies for units. Snider has also provided volunteer support to the community by serving as a VA Hospital volunteer, visiting local nursing homes, conducting lectures on suicide prevention, participating in clothing and veterans' food drives, as well as supporting Washoe County JROTC programs and events.    

Snider served a very distinguished career in the United States Navy. During his 30 years of service, he received two Navy Commendation Medals, the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat "V," Meritorious Unit Commendation, Seventh Good Conduct Award, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Bronze Star as well as a Humanitarian Service Medal. 
By Terri Hendry 

(Carson City, NV)The Office of Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Department of Veterans Services are pleased to announce the Adopt a Vet Dental Program as the "Veteran Supporter of the Month" award and recognition for May 2017. 

The ceremony took place in Capitol Building/Old Assembly Chambers.

Since 2010, the Adopt a Vet Dental Program has provided no-to-low cost dental care to northern Nevada's low income veterans who are in critical need of such care. To date, the Adopt a Vet Dental Program has provided dental care to 710 veterans at a value of $2.8 million dollars. Many of these veterans received complete dental treatment. The program is afforded to veterans who are at-or-below 150% of the federal poverty level. They must also be under the care of a primary care physician and be a Nevada resident.

The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 388 has been actively involved for the past four years in the program with a volunteer member assigned as a Carson Area Representative for the program resulting in dental services being provided to 85 veterans using 29 dentists. The area of coverage includes veterans in Carson City, Gardnerville, Minden, Stateline, Dayton, Silver Springs, Lovelock, Winnemucca and Hawthorne.  The Chapter holds an annual Poker Run as a fund-raiser to support this vital program.

VVA 388 President Tomas Spencer made the nomination. The "Veteran of the Month" and "Veteran Supporter of the Month" awards are provided through the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. The awards are part of the Governor's commitment to make Nevada the "friendliest State in the nation" to its military community and veterans.  The "Veteran Supporter of the Month" award recognizes both active organizations and non-veteran Nevada community members that provide exceptional support to military stationed in Nevada, Nevada veterans, and their families. This program expands the "Nevada Veteran of the Month" award by shining a bright light on individuals who, while not serving in uniform, help veterans with no expectation of recognition or award. It also serves to recognize the contributions of organizations who donate their time and energy to improve the life of our veterans. 

By Chuck N. Baker 

Several veterans in Southern Nevada were recently asked about Memorial Day and what it means to them. Originally called Decoration Day, it is officially a day to remember those whose lives were lost in military service to the United States. But there is no one answer to the question. Jim McGeachy, who invested many years in the military, gave his answer. "As it does every year, the flag goes up in front of the house," he said. He unknowingly spoke for many Americans. Citizens across the nation break out Old Glory on most patriotic holidays, and many residential blocks become a loving sea of red, white and blue.

Steve Gibbs, a veteran of the Vietnam War, said, "Memorial Day is one thing, but I lost seven friends and I was injured in the same battle. I don't worry about my medals. Because when I die, my friends don't have them either."

Gene Amos, a veteran of the Korean War and commander of Chapter 711, Ex-American POW's, said on each Memorial Day he is, "Glad to be alive. A lot of close friends didn't make it."

Click here to read more.

By Terri Hendry 

(Boulder City, NV)The Nevada Department of Veterans Services is pleased to announce the Southern Nevada State Veterans Home met the quality criteria for the 2017 American College of Health Care Administrators Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award. Fewer than 9% of facilities nationwide meet the quality criteria for this award for such a great achievement.   

Linda Gelinger, Administrator and her team, received this award for being one of the top performing skilled nursing facilities in the nation for 2016. This year 1,288 facilities met the selection criteria and only 206 facilities in 33 states were awarded the facility leadership award nationally. 

The Eli Pick Leadership Award is based on three years of skilled nursing facility survey data, including the Health, Fire (Life Safety), Complaint Surveys, as well as top quartile performance on designated Quality Measures and 80% or greater occupancy. 

The award was established in 2008 to recognize Skilled Nursing Facilities for achieving excellence, well beyond the Five Star rating system.  Criteria are carefully reviewed and updated each year, to assure that the top-performing facilities are duly recognized and that the award continues to raise the bar for organizational performance. 

Gelinger said, “We are all very proud of our staff for their hard work, dedication and what they have accomplished all in honor of our veterans and their families.”  

Click here to read more.

By Cathy Yates

Gabriela Pesqueira has been providing AmeriCorps service with the NDVS program since October 2016. She is based in Las Vegas but her primary responsibilities with Native American veterans have taken her all over the state.  Her current supervisor, Charles Harvey said the following about Gabriela:

"Over the last three months I have observed the service of AmeriCorps Member Gabriela Pesqueira. Upon meeting Gabriela, I immediately found her to be a self-starter who was proactive and resourceful in her desire to help improve the quality of life of veterans, military members and their families in Nevada. I have been particularly impressed with her ability to independently develop creative strategies in her outreach and engagement efforts. On numerous occasions, I've witnessed Gabriela making telephone calls, staffing veteran information booths, assisting at VIC events and career fairs, and effectively communicating information to veterans.  Gabriela continuously displays a positive attitude, confidence and professionalism in completing her duties, and she is to be commended for her efforts."  

Gabriela has also provided service to the Veterans in Care (VIC) program under the supervision of Connie Johnson.  Connie said the following about Gabriela:

"Gabby has been tremendously helpful in assisting with the Veterans in Care (VIC) program.  Gabby took the lead in scheduling a recognition event for elderly World War II veterans and Korean War veterans who are living in small group homes throughout Southern Nevada.      

Gabby supported NDVS with mailing invitations and contacting group homes to follow up on information for creating personalized certificates and event preparation details.   Gabby has also worked well with community veteran groups and larger facilities to schedule Color Guards and support our recognition events in so many ways.    We are so appreciative of Gabby's professionalism and attention to detail."

NDVS recognizes the valuable service AmeriCorps members provide Nevada's veterans!  Thank you Gabby for your dedication and service!

By Chuck N. Baker

(Las Vegas, NV) -- A VA sponsored event, "Passport to Wellness" has an important mission in mind. "We are always looking to provide information from qualified individuals on a variety of options that will contribute to making life better for veterans," said  Charles W. Ramey, public affairs manager for the Department of Veterans Affairs Southern Nevada Healthcare System.

With that in mind, the VA Clinic in North Las Vegas sponsored a "Passport to Wellness" program on May 17th that included a VA2K Walk. It also provided a bevy of health resources to assist veterans and their families. Individuals representing some 20-plus non-profit organizations were available to hand out information concerning such areas as overcoming stress management, quitting use of tobacco and accessing such mental and physical regimens as meditation, yoga and Reiki.

Ramey said there were about 200 people who took advantage of the 2K walk on a course that circled the VA medical complex. He explained the VA has a committee that meets regularly to discuss positive health issues and disease prevention. "We try to do a variety of things," he said about the committee. "Our Director Peggy Kearns has expanded communications and education for our veterans for their own health care so they can make choices that can improve their lifestyles." He added, "The motto of the VA is, 'Here every day is Veterans Day,' and we continuously strive to make that statement a reality." Many VA employees took part in the wellness event, as well as overseeing the activities.

Click here to read more.

By Chuck N. Baker

(North Las Vegas, NV)-- An American Veterans Traveling Tribute was on display in North Las Vegas May 18-21. The tribute is a smaller version of Washington's "Vietnam Memorial Wall" containing the names of thousands of the nation's men and women who perished in the Southeast Asian War. The display was a major part of "Patriot Fest," a three-day event honoring veterans and their families.

"Mom and Apple Pie" was once a much used catch phrase that identified things that are uniquely American -- Labor Day, holiday barbecue parties, muscle cars and bikini swim suits, to name but a few of the fully serious and much lighter fare individuals often sought out. Not that those things have gone away. But as time moves on, other items of interest are added that are strictly American; like the Traveling Tribute.

History reminds us when veterans of the Vietnam War came home, they did not receive a warm welcome. But it's also a fact that society has long turned that corner. Welcoming our nation's warriors is kept separate from politics. Today Americans who fought in Vietnam are recognized and honored across the nation for the sacrifices they made.

Often referred to simply as "The Wall," there is a smaller version that travels the nation, and is put on display in cities nationwide. At Craig Ranch Regional Park, "The Wall" was a part of the larger "Patriot Fest" that included the laying of wreaths for POW/MIA and Gold Star families. The three day event included live music from several bands including "Love and Theft," and an "Eagles" tribute from the musical group, "The Long Run." Military displays, commercial and non-profit vendors and a 5K "Run  & Fun Walk" joined with a "Cars & Stripes" display of classic automobiles. Individuals came together to honor the country's military who served in all wars. A bounce house and other activities for children helped to round out the family friendly event.

Click here to read more.

(Las Vegas, NV) -- FOX5 in Las Vegas shares three personal stories from the front lines as veterans from the Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City keep memories of their fellow soldiers alive. Enjoy.

http://www.fox5vegas.com/clip/13365746/local-veterans-remembering-fallen-heroes 

______________________________________________________________________

(Boulder City, NV) – Veterans In Care (VIC) is a program launched by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. Its mission is to reach Nevada’s veterans residing and receiving care and services in skilled care, residential care and assisted living facilities.

In May, a VIC ceremony was held at the Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City. If you don’t have a box of Kleenex handy, you might want to grab a few tissues and watch this video by Evan Petty of Reno who captured the moment to share with you:  

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8QjCO2gc20

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 done 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.

By Terri Hendry 

(Reno & Las Vegas, NV)— The Year 2017 ushered key milestones for women serving in the U.S. military. In January, an infantry battalion at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina received three historic additions -- the first three women to serve as infantry Marines in the 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. According to news reports, the three had specializations as rifleman, machine gun and mortar. The units already had three females in leadership roles and were expected and able to help with the transition.

It was just one year before women were allowed to participate in certain military roles. It was Defense Secretary Ash Carter who announced starting in January 2016 the military would be required to open all combat positions to both males and females.

Around this same time frame, women in the military and women veterans were marking milestones in Nevada. On March 14, 2014, Governor Brian Sandoval signed Executive Order 2014-08. It paved the way for the creation of the Nevada Women Veterans Advisory Committee. The following year, in 2015, the Nevada Legislature approved a law establishing the Committee and defining its make-up, duties and role.

In 2015, the Nevada Legislature noted and declared women make up 15 percent of the veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States. In drafting the legislation that became law, lawmakers noted few studies have been done to determine and understand the special challenges women veterans may have in post deployment and following separation from active duty. 

A few words from Dr. Anne Davis, Colonel, US Army (Retired) - Chairwoman --

The Women Veterans Advisory Committee is comprised of five members – all of whom are Women Veterans. We have 2 members in the Las Vegas area, 2 in the Reno area, and 1 member is in Elko.  We think it's important our members represent the population of our Women Veterans by coming from various areas of the state. Committee members assist in locating, educating and advocating for all Women Veterans in Nevada.

I am an Army Veteran. I served 29 years on active duty and retired as a Colonel. I am not a native Nevadan, but what connected me to Nevada was my tour of duty as the Commander of Hawthorne Army Depot here in Nevada. I was the first woman to command the Depot and served in Hawthorne from 2000-2002.

We were just beginning to explore the needs of Nevada’s Women Veterans. After that first year, I became convinced we really did need a committee focused on the needs of Women Veterans since we have some unique needs. One thing we noted right away is that women often do not identify themselves as veterans. Our primary goal is to identify Women Veterans to ensure they are aware of the benefits and opportunities that they are entitled to as a result of their service.

One thing we recently accomplished during this legislative session was for a member of our committee to be given a seat on the Veterans Services Commission in the state. A Student Veteran will also be given a seat. We felt it was important for a variety of veterans’ voices to be heard on the VSC. And we want to thank the legislature and Governor Sandoval for their support. As I mentioned earlier, some women do not self-identify as veterans. Therefore, the committee members feel it is important to re-frame the question from “Are you a Veteran?” to “Have you ever served in the U.S. Military?” We are still working on that. We are advocating that all state forms be updated when each state agency next updates their forms to change the question on their form. Another thing we have been working with NDVS on is the establishment of a database to better reach all veterans within the state to include Women Veterans. This is difficult as some organizations do not share information freely and also because veterans are coming into and leaving the state every day.

Our Women Veterans Advisory Committee is also advocating that more attention be paid to the issue of Military Sexual Trauma. NDVS recently hosted a Military Sexual Trauma Workshop in Reno. Our goal surrounding MST is awareness, education, and action. We touched on all three issues at the workshop. While both men and women can be affected by MST, a greater proportion of Women Veterans are affected than male veterans. In the workshop we talked about what MST is, how it impacts service members and veterans, what treatments are available, and how to apply for service-connected assistance from the VA. It was a very engaging session with lots of questions and some in the audience shared their personal experiences as well. 

There is another free workshop on Military Sexual Trauma coming up June 16, 2017 in Las Vegas. 
The workshop is a half-day educational event focusing on the identification and treatment of sexual trauma, especially in relation to the military. This forum will focus on educating healthcare professionals in multiple settings as to what is sexual trauma, the available counseling and treatments, as well as what additional resources are available.  CEUs will also be awarded for Licensed Administrators (Board of Examiners for Long Term Care Administrators), Licensed Nurses (Nevada State Board of Nursing), and Social Workers (Board of Examiners for Social Workers).


We each bring a different perspective to the table and we are all very committed to serving
and advocating for Women Veterans across Nevada. 
Sharlee "Charley" Smith—Member—Retired Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army/Reno

Hi!  I am Sharlee Wyatt Smith, better known as "Charley." 

I 'm a proud 1970 graduate of the first class of Hug High School, right here in Reno, Nevada. In 1981, eleven years after high school, I enlisted in the United States Army as a Private First Class.  I retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2006.  My education includes a Bachelor's Degree, a Master's Degree, and completion of the United States Army Command & General Staff College.  

My passion for serving Veterans is very strong; because I am a Women Veteran, obviously that becomes of even more interest to me.  Women Veterans have been unduly overlooked for many years and I believe it is important to do something about this. I think it is important to get women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces to understand they are veterans! Many don't identify as such and it's important to educate them so they know the benefits, programs and services they've earned and are available to them.

During my 11-year retirement, I have volunteered at local, state and national level positions to improve care, service, benefits and more for our veterans.  Below are some of the committees and organizations in which I have served:
  • Association of the United States Army (AUSA) – Past Sixth Region President (2016-present); Sixth Region President (2012-2016); General William C. Westmoreland Chapter President (2010-2012); National Resolutions Committee Member (2009, 2010, 2011); Chapter Vice President for National Guard Affairs (2008); Chapter Vice President for ROTC Affairs (1999-2008); Chapter Acting Secretary (2005-2008); Chapter Delegate to the National Convention (2006); Graduate of the Chapter Leader’s Development Course (2006); Life Member since 1983
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV) – Life Member, 2008
  • Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) – Life Member, 2010 
  • National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) – Life Member, 1990
  • Navy League of the United States, Reno Council - Member, 2010
  • Reserve Officers Association (ROA) – Life Member, 1990
  • Women In Military Service for America (WIMSA) – Charter Member, 1996
  • Women’s Army Corps Veteran’s Association (WACVA) – President (2007-2010); Vice President (2005-2007); Member (2002-2010)
  • Honor Flight Volunteer (2016-present)
  • Nevada Department of Veterans Services "Veterans In Care" Volunteer (2016-present)
  • Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery Committee (Fernley) (Governor appointed 2010-2015)
  • US Senator Dean Heller's Academies Selection Committee (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016)
  • Veteran’s Guest House Volunteer (2000-present)
  • Washoe County JROTC Volunteer (2007-present)
  • Women Veterans Advisory Committee, State of Nevada (Governor appointed 2014-present)
  • Women Veteran’s Health Committee for the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System (2008-present)
  • Oregon State University (OSU) Alumni Association – Life Member 1984
  • Local Community Retirement Homes and Church Volunteer (1998-2012)
  • President, Ballroom Dance Reno LLC – Chartered 2006
Bobi Pike-Oates – Vice Chairwoman - Retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant/Las Vegas

HI! I am Roberta Pike Oates, better known as "Bobi."  

I retired from the U. S. Air Force, as aircraft maintenance Senior Master Sergeant, following 23 years of service (1976-1999).   During my career, I was fortunate to have the distinction of being handpicked as one of four individuals to stand up the Air Force first Remote Piloted Aircraft Predator Squadron at Creech AFB.  As Production Superintendent for the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron, I led the initial Air Force Cadre of Maintenance personnel though training at the UAV training center at Fort Huachuca, AZ, then on to Taszer, Hungary for the first Air Force Deployment in support of Operation Joint Endeavor. During my Air Force career, I served at several overseas and stateside bases in various Aircraft Maintenance positions.  I was also deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey in support of Operation Provide Comfort.  After retiring from the Air Force, I was a Branch Manager for Armed Forces Bank at Nellis AFB for 9 years. I've lived in Nevada for 23 years.

I received my certification as a Nevada Advocate (NVA) from the Nevada Department of Veteran Services on July 26, 2015. I highly recommend you become an NVA by taking the course and becoming certified. 
Visit https://nvapps.state.nv.us, register with the system, and create your profile. Once that is done, go to the https://nvelearn.nv.gov site to use your login and password to get on the elearn system. From there, click on Course Catalog and Courses for other Nevada public entities and the public, click on Veterans Advocacy and Support, click on Nevada Veterans Advocate Certification Courses, select "Enroll Me" and click on the learning module you want to take! 

I've served on the Governor’s Women Veterans Advisory Committee starting in 2014 and was reappointed for another term, serving until January 2018, and elected Vice Chairwoman.

I'm also serving as a board member of the newly formed Veterans Administration’s Southern Nevada Community Engagement Board.

I'm also a member of the Ceremonial team, a life member of the Air Forces Association and local chapter President; a Charter Member of the Women in Military Service for America; Air Force Sergeants Association; American Legion Post 76; life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12101; a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, and member of the Military Women Across the Nation; member of the Air Force Sergeants Association, member of the United Veterans Legislature Council, and Executive Board member of the Southern Nevada Community Engagement Board.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, AA in Aircraft Maintenance, AS in Law Enforcement, Certificates in Paralegal Studies and Banking. Awards include; Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year, 57th Wing, Nellis AFB and Resource Advisor of the Year Air Warfare Center, Nellis AFB. I was selected as the Nevada Veteran of the Month for December 2015.
Annie Emprima-Martin — Advisory Committee Member - Owner, Veteran Ready/Las Vegas

Hello! My name is Annie Emprima-Martin.

I served from Feb 2008 to Feb 2017 in the Nevada Army National Guard. I was deployed to Kuwait in 2016, but also traveled to cities in Jordan, Iraq and Qatar during the deployment. At the time, I served as finance operations for the 17th Sustainment Brigade. My duties included conducting audits on U.S. and foreign currency throughout the battlefield. 

Currently, I'm the owner of Veteran Ready, a consulting, training, and event planning company focused on building up the veteran community. I am also co-owner of Train With Industries, an on-site paid training program for veterans with severe barriers to employment. I bring to the Advisory Committee my local event planning experience and veteran community involvement starting with my time spent as the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program non-commissioned officer (NCO) and Employment Coordinator for the Nevada Army National Guard. I've also served as a Department of Defense contractor, building up and branding the Hero2Hired program for Nevada to more than 1,000 veterans, as well as serving as the first Veteran Coordinator for Vegas PBS. 

I have served many years under male leadership that struggled to understand how to groom female leaders. I have first-hand experience in dealing with the struggles women veterans face during the transition from the military to civilian life. I also have expertise in marketing, advertising and program development that is specific to the veteran population. I want to bring awareness about the struggles women have while serving and help influence change in the military culture to better support Nevada women in the Guard/Reserve and women veterans from all eras. In my time serving on the Advisory Committee we all want to bring awareness to issues specific to women veterans as well as advocate for women veterans statewide. 
Marlene Merck—Advisory Committee Member—Retired Air Force Master Sergeant E-7/Elko

Greetings! My name is Marlene Merck.  I am originally from Michigan but now reside in Elko.  My experience with the military dates back to April of 1989 when I joined the Air Force.  I graduated from Lowry AFB as Services Journeyman AKA a cook.  But that wasn't the only job in Services.  I also had to learn lodging, mortuary affairs, and honor guard.  Five years later, fitness, recreation, club operations, and troop support were all also added to my duties.  

My time in the military sent me around the world. I have been stationed at Yokota AB Japan (1989-91), Little Rock AFB Arkansas (1991-2003), Anderson AFB Guam (2003-05), and Mountain Home Idaho (2005-13).  I have been deployed to Korea, Italy, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Cuba, Iraq, and Bahrain.  

I was provided many opportunities during my service. My "crowning" moment in the Air Force was as the training manager at Mountain Home where we had sevel years of 100% pass rate in Career Development Course (CDC) due to a computer based testing program I created.  It was benchmarked as the best training program by the HQ Service Agency and asked for by at least five services training managers.  I'm also honored to have been asked by my second to last Commander to become her First Sergeant.  At the time, I was going through a lot of personal issues. But despite those challenges in my personal life, she knew I would make a good "go to" for younger Airmen.  Because I didn't have retainability as a Master Sergeant, I could not attend the First Sergeant School.  So, I settled on being an Intern First Sergeant.  After 24 years, I retired as a Master Sergeant (E-7).  

During my last year of active duty, I didn't know what I wanted to do, let alone where I wanted to live.  I just couldn't live in Idaho (personal reasons).  So, I wondered if I should move back to Michigan or someplace else. It came down to a visit with a friend in Spring Creek, Nevada.  I fell in love with the Ruby Mountains.  Elko was a slower pace, just big enough with everything you need, and just far enough away from Idaho.  So, I found a job and moved to Nevada right after I retired.  It has, so far, been a great place to raise my daughter.  I worked for about two years in the restaurant industry.  It was a difficult adjustment, let alone the challenges I faced as a single parent.  I felt like I was neglecting my daughter.  So, I officially retired from the work force and left that environment.   I married a great guy, Randy, and became a full time mom to my 'tween daughter. 

I joined the VFW in 2015 and within six months was elected in as their Commander.  I was asked to join the Women Veteran Advisory Committee by a member of the VFW post.  I missed working as a First Sergeant, helping my airman, and thought this would be a good thing.  I realized that my 24 years as a female in the military can be used to help other women who served.  I had dealt with a lot in my 24 years and it made me a strong, resilient and assertive. 

I have an Associate's Degree in hospitality, food, and fitness from the Community College of the Air Force.  I also have a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Columbia Southern University.  I'm also a life member of the VFW and AFSA (inactive).   

For more information on the Women Veterans Advisory Committee, click on the link below:   http://www.veterans.nv.gov/page/wvac-members 

(Washington DC) – The Veterans Administration is releasing some disturbing data. Many already know the story behind the number 22; the number of American veterans who lose their lives by their own hand every day. If that weren't alarming enough, now it appears when it comes to women veterans, the suicide rate is alarmingly higher.  

Click here for the NPR Story:

http://www.npr.org/2017/04/25/525533008/rate-of-suicide-among-female-veterans-climbs-va-says 

Task and Purpose has more:

http://taskandpurpose.com/suicide-rate-among-female-veterans-rise-experts-no-idea/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tp-today&utm_content=button

By Dr. Anne Davis, Chairperson, Women Veteran's Advisory Committee

(Reno, Las Vegas, NV) –There is an effort underway to organize and provide an Honor Flight from Reno/Las Vegas to Washington, DC. It is for women veterans who have served in the U.S. military. As you may already know, Honor Flight's mission is to transport America's veterans to our nation's capitol to visit the memorials dedicated to their honor, service, and sacrifices.  

This is the first Reno/Las Vegas Honor Flight for Women Veterans. Women have served our nation since the Revolutionary War but their service has often gone unrecognized and their military experience has been very different from that of men. In our country's early history, women disguised themselves as men to serve our country. It wasn't until World War II, women were able to enlist in the military. Even then, the rules for men and women were very different. Because of these differences, many women who have served in the military have not, and do not, consider themselves to be veterans. This may be true because they did not serve in a war zone or could not serve in combat positions. While much of this has changed, unfortunately some of our early women veterans have not been recognized for their service.  

Click here to read more.

Any veteran or 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.

Veteran Unit Decal Plates: The DMV is authorized to offer veterans plates with extra space for unit logos. Army Airborne and Navy Seabees are available as well as Air Force and Army logos on National Guard Plates.

Motorcycle plates for Army Airborne and Navy Seabees are not in stock and must be custom-ordered. Visit the Nevada DMV by clicking here: http://dmvnv.com/platesveterans.htm

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.

JUNE ROVER DATES
June 1 - 
                Hawthorne
                755 Sierra Way,                               
                Hawthorne, NV
                11 AM - 2 PM       
_________________________________
June 6 -                
                Mesquite
                840 Hafen Lane
                Mesquite, NV 
                9:30 AM - 2:30 PM  
_________________________________
June 7 -
                Elko and Ely Interactive Video
                Ely Great Basin College
              9 AM - 12 PM
_________________________________
June 8 -
                Beatty
              Beatty Town Office
              100 A Ave S.             
              10 AM - 3 PM           
_____________________________________________
June 13 - 
              Silver Springs
                2945 Fort Churchill
                Silver Springs,  NV               
                9:30 AM - 3 PM       

June 15 - 
                Mesquite
                840 Hafen Lane
                Mesquite, NV 
                9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
 
                Tonopah Iteractive Video
              101 Radar Rd
              Tonopah, NV
              11 AM - 3 PM
_____________________________________________
June 23 -               
                Elko and Ely Interactive Video
                Ely Great Basin College
              9 AM - 12 PM
_________________________________
June 27 -
              Gardnerville
              Douglas County Senior Center
             10 AM - 3 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.


June 3  - 
              Scars and Stripes Festival

            All Day
             
              Location:
               200 S 3rd St, Las Vegas, NV 89101

              Contact:
             info@filthynastyproductions.com
_________________________________
             
             Vegas for Veterans Military
             Celebration

            6 PM - 10 PM
           
            Location:
            3300 South Las Vegas Blvd
           
            Contact: 
            www.vegas4veterans.org
_________________________________
June 12-16 -
            VETS2PM
            
           8 AM - 5 PM Every Day
            
             Location:           
             Nellis AFB, Las Vegas 

            Contact:
            888-551-4251
            www.vets2pm.com/veterans

June 16 -  
           Golfing For Our Heroes

           Starting at 1 PM        

            Location:         
            6600 N Wingfield Pkwy, Sparks

           Contact:
          Linda
           775-324-6958
__________ _____________________ ______________
June 22 -        
        
         11 AM - 3 PM
        
         Location:
          Reno Town Mall
            4001 S. Virginia St. Reno

         Contact:
           Doug Williams
         dougwilliams@admin.nv.gov                              https://stateofnevada-                                        careerfair.eventbrite.com
_________________________________
June 23-24 -
       
        All Day

          Location:          
           Grand Sierra Resort and Casino
          2500 East Second St, Reno

          Contact:
        Gabriela Pesqueira
          702-955-4456

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
STAY CONNECTED