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February 2019 Veterans Voice Newsletter
Message Message from the Director
Message from the Director - February 2019
We have a number of upcoming events for veterans and veteran advocates in the next several weeks that you are not going to want to miss!

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Join us for Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature  
This year, Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature (VAMDAL) will be held on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. If you are not familiar with VAMDAL, this event brings members of the military and veteran communities to the Legislature to interact with their legislators. It involves a morning session on the Capitol grounds, a Concurrent Resolution in the Assembly and Senate honoring our fallen, a luncheon sponsored by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services, static military displays by the Nevada National Guard, veteran-friendly vendors, and more. The event takes place on the legislative grounds throughout the day.

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Become a Vendor for Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature!
If you have a program, service or resource that would be of interest to military members, veterans or their families, join us as an informational exhibitor for Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature.

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Veteran of the Month and Veteran Supporter of the Month
Four new veterans and five new veteran supporters are slated to receive the honor and recognition of being named Veteran of the Month or Veteran Supporter of the Monththrough May of this year.   

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Missing in Nevada - 19 Unclaimed Veterans Receive Military Burial
By Cathy Yates, Northern Nevada Outreach Director
FERNLEY- Nineteen veterans joined their brothers and sisters at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in a solemn ceremony that remembered them for their sacrifices during three wars and peacetime. 

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Gulf War Veteran? Free Gift for You!
The State of Kuwait is providing a special "thank you" to the men and women who served in Operation Desert Storm. Gulf War veterans may receive a free commemorative, first-edition book, The Liberation of Kuwait. It includes a companion, feature-length documentary on DVD. The set retails for $49.95 but is yours, free, because of your service.

The high quality book was published in 2016 by Remember My Service Productions. It is full color, printed on heavy glossy paper. The 9" X 11" book has a hardcover and dust jacket.

We regret we cannot mail the free book sets due to cost. But you may arrange to pick up your free copy by emailing  hendryt@veterans.nv.gov.  We can make arrangements for you to pick up your copy from the nearest NDVS office. Thank you for your service!
Korean War Veteran? This Free Gift is For You!
For a limited time, and for the first time ever, the nationally acclaimed book Korea Reborn: A Grateful Nation Honors War Veterans for 60 Years of Growth and The Remembered War, a 2014 GI Film Festival-selected documentary, are being bundled together in a collector's edition commemorative book and DVD set.

Both the book and DVD remember and honor the brave Americans who served during the Korean War. Their fight for freedom in a war-torn, distant land has nourished a modern and prosperous Republic of Korea, one of the world's most powerful testaments to the fruits of liberty.

The books are a gift from the South Korean government and are made available to you, Korean War veterans, at NO COST! The book retails for $49.95 but again, it is yours free, if you are a Korean War veteran.   While we honor the service of all who veterans, this offer is a special gift reserved only for those who served in combat during the Korean War.
The high quality book was published in 2016 by Remember My Service Productions. It is full color, printed on heavy glossy paper. The 9" X 11" book has a hardcover and dust jacket.

We regret we cannot mail the free book sets due to cost. But you may arrange to pick up your free copy by emailing  hendryt@veterans.nv.gov.  We can make arrangements for you to pick up your copy from the nearest NDVS office. Thank you for your service!
HealthHealth and Wellness
Southern Nevada State Veterans Home Again Receives Significant National Award 
(Boulder City, NV) - The Southern Nevada State Veterans Home (SNSVH) has once again received the Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award which identifies the Bolder City skilled care nursing facility among the very top-performing facilities across the country.

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Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act Update
By Chuck N. Baker
This year, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act is again up for passage by the House of Representatives. If approved in its current form, it would grant Agent Orange benefits to U.S. Navy veterans who were stationed offshore in Vietnam in "blue water." Additionally, it would expand Agent Orange benefits for those who served at the Korean Demilitarized Zone and also in Thailand.

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Burn Pits Accountability Act
By Chuck N. Baker
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) are applauding the bipartisan leadership of Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Congress members Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Brian Mast (R-FL) for re-introducing the Burn Pits Accountability Act. The proposal has more than 100 bipartisan original cosponsors. It is considered landmark legislation that would require the Department of Defense to account for servicemembers' exposure to airborne toxins while deployed.

Latest Health News from the VA
VA Announces Community Support, Caregiver Partnership: In January, the VA announced a new partnership called CaringBridge to better connect veterans and their caregivers with their local communities. CaringBridge is a global nonprofit focused on social networking. It provides personal websites that are free and secure as a platform for veterans and their families to assist in communicating with others. This platform is a private, online journal. CaringBridge has launched a website specific for veterans, current service members, and their families. Learn more about   CaringBridge’s support for military families on health journeys.

VA Million Veteran Program Tops 725,000 Enrollees: The results of most nationwide opinion surveys are based on just a few thousand respondents. The VA's Million Veteran Program is different, and that's why they want to enroll one million veterans to help researchers understand what illnesses might be associated with where and when veterans served. The goal of the  voluntary research program is to partner with VA-enrolled veterans to study how genes affect health by safely collecting and storing blood samples and health information. The large sample population will then allow researchers to better study diseases like diabetes and cancer and military-related illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.   Learn more.

Shutdown Did Not Affect TRICARE Despite Missed Payments: The Defense Health Agency (DHA) states as a result of the partial government shutdown, allotments used by some TRICARE patients to pay enrollment fees and dental premiums had not been processed through the U.S. Coast Guard pay center. DHA has since released guidance to members of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service, the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, family members, and survivors assuring them that any beneficiary who falls into the aforementioned categories that pays through allotment won't be disenrolled for nonpayment, and that no action is required at this time. TRICARE was not impacted by the shutdown and will continue to process claims.  Learn more here.
ProgramsPrograms and Services
Adaptive Sports Program - Winter Sports
Both Las Vegas and Reno have robust programs aimed specifically at veterans and/or those looking for adaptive sports programs!

Everything from aquatics, water therapy, wheelchair sports, Tai Chi and much more is available.

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Henderson's Veterans Treatment Court
By Chuck N. Baker
The existence of veterans courts began in Buffalo, New York, and was written about in various publications. A public defender handed one of the articles to Henderson Judge Mark Stevens and suggested it would be a good idea to emulate locally. "And it kind of went from there," Stevens said. The individual who offered the article volunteered to be the public defender when the court was established, and Stevens said there are now four attorneys who volunteer in the program. Typically defendants have been charged with misdemeanors and/or with service-related illnesses.

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Helping Veterans Is This Civilian's Passion
By Chuck N. Baker
It has become more and more common for non-veterans to help the general veteran community in many different ways. Phil Randazzo said that 9/11 was a turning point for him, and he tried to enlist in the military. But medical problems did not allow him to do so. Still, the urge to do something for the country stayed with him and he embarked on several positive projects over the years. "My way of serving was to start a small non-profit here in Las Vegas. And we're growing nationally now."

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New Society of Military Widows of Southern Nevada 
Chapter #34 Established
By Janet Snyder, Society of Military Widows
The SMW of Southern Nevada Chapter #34 launched its first meeting in January establishing the new chapter. The Society now has members in all parts of Nevada, including as far north as Owyhee at the Native American reservation. The group has several Honorary Members and guests who attend and support members. Members of SMW are also in many states throughout the USA.

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Meet the New Southern Nevada Outreach Director
By Evan Rush, NDVS Southern Nevada Outreach Director
The outreach program's mission is to develop innovative ways to find and inform Nevada's veterans about benefits and services available from federal, state, and local organizations, as well as solicit feedback from veterans regarding their requests and needs for additional services.

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Introducing The New Speakers Bureau
The Nevada Department of Veterans Services is pleased to announce a new, FREE resource! It is a Speakers Bureau that will provide you with experts or emcees at your next event, ceremony, presentation, gala, meeting and more.

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NewsNews You can Use
2019 Veterans Legislative Summits
By Chuck N. Baker and Terri Hendry
The Nevada Department of Veterans Services, in partnership with the United Veterans Legislative Council (UVLC) held its Veterans Legislative Summit in January. The Veterans Legislative Summit provides the opportunity to learn:
  • How to contact and talk with your Nevada State Representative
  • What legislation is propised that matters to veterans and their families
  • How to get involved and track bills of concern to veterans in the upcoming 2019 Session of the Nevada Legislature
The Summit is held in the years lawmakers are in session and provides the opportunity to summarize the information gathered in an event held the year prior, the Veterans Legislative Symposia. Symposia are held in the "off years," when the Nevada Legislature is not in session. It provides the opportunity for participants to identify and prioritize issues important to veterans and their families for legislative consideration. Like the Symposia, the Summit is held in both Las Vegas and Reno to gather input from across Nevada.

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Ties That Bind Us
By Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus
The crisp, cloudless autumn day greeted the small group, many bundled in bright red Honor Flight Nevada sweatshirts and covered by coats to protect them from the morning chill. They listened and watched and learned more about Maryland's Gold Star Families Memorial Monument on the final leg of their recent four-day trip to Washington, D.C. and Annapolis, home of the U.S. Naval Academy.

EmploymentEmployment/Education
Two American Warriors Seeking 10,000 Veterans To Learn Real Estate Skills
By Chuck N. Baker
Veterans leaving the military who are considering real estate as their next profession must face some harsh financial realities. All facets of real estate require specific education and cash when it comes to starting out. In order to be licensed, one must pay for and pass a state exam, pay annual dues to the local real estate association, pay for continuing education, pay for advertising and share sales commissions with a broker. If one is developing or rehabbing property, there are additional licenses and hoops to jump through and there is no guarantee of success.

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Free Nevada Veterans Advocate Workshop Coming Up
Now is your chance to make a difference. Join us for a free, two-day workshop that will set you on the path to becoming a Nevada Veterans Advocate.

The workshop is hosted by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. It will be held on April 6-7 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM both days at Harrah's Reno, 219 North Center Street in Reno.

Nevada Veterans Advocates help connect veterans or their families to benefits, resources and services earned through military service. This training will help introduce, teach and update you on areas that can assist military members, veterans or their families connect to benefits that can enrich and enhance their lives.

For more information or to register and "save your seat" 
22 Warriors Foundation Receives Patriot Employer Certificate

By Evan Rush, Southern Nevada Outreach Director
The nonprofit 22 Warriors Foundation is the newest organization to receive the Patriot Employer Program Certification. The program recognizes veteran friendly businesses that complete an online course learning about the benefits of hiring veterans.

The certificate was presented in a special ceremony on January 19, 2019 to Bill Emmel, Executive Director and Board President of 22 Warriors Foundation. 22 Warriors Foundation is a veteran-founded, operated, and governed veterans nonprofit.  The Foundation is dedicated to eliminating veteran suicides.  22 Warriors Foundation is the Nevada Division of Warriors Suicide Prevention Foundation (WSP Foundation).

Emmel stated 22 Warriors Foundation is committed to addressing the issues that lie behind suicides, high risk behaviors, untreated mental illness and lack of resources. its goals are to provide 100%, free-of-charge services, regardless of discharge status.
For more information on 22 Warriors Foundation, visit:  https://22warriors.org/

For more information on the Patriot Employer Program, go here:  https://veterans.nv.gov/employers/patriot-employer-program/
RememberAlways Remember
Always Remember - Never Forget - February 2019
Coast Guard Reserve Birthday
Congratulations Coast Guard Reserve as it celebrates its 77 th birthday!! February 19 is formally recognized as the birth of the Coast Guard Reserve while June 23 is recognized as the birthday of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Military.com provides some perspective and background:

The U.S. Coast Guard Reserve website itself is here:  https://www.reserve.uscg.mil/about/history/1940s/

The Tet Offensive
The Tet Offensive, officially called The General Offensive and Uprising of Tet Mau Than launched on January 30, 1968 by North Vietnam and the Viet Cong. The coordinated series of North Vietnamese attacks on more than 100 cities and outposts in South Vietnam was one of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War.
The History Channel has more information, including video clips here:

Dates Next Month to Remember
You are not going to want to forget several major observations coming up in a few weeks.
March 3 - the Navy Reserves marks a birthday
March 15 - The American Legion also celebrates a birthday
March 20 - Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature in Carson City
March 25 - Medal of Honor Day
CalendarMark Your Calendar
Mark Your Calendar - February 2019
 Click here for some events happening in February!
Nevada Department of Veterans Services 
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