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March 2019 Veterans Voice Newsletter
Message Message from the Director
Message from the Director - March 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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We Need your Participation for 
Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature  
Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature is coming up on Wednesday, March 20th and right now only a half dozen have signed up for the United Veterans Legislative Counsel's (UVLC) pairing of veterans to lawmakers in both the Senate and Assembly. This portion of Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature is vital in raising awareness of veterans and veterans' issues to our Nevada lawmakers.

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Blake Boles Named Veteran of the Month and 
Wadley Construction Named Veteran Supporter of the Month
They may not be aware of it themselves, but the men and women who volunteer to help veterans and active-duty military have an inner spirit that drives them to continuous service and dedication to others. Those who go "over and above" in service to the veteran community are the ones chosen to receive the honor of being selected as the Veteran of the Month or Veteran Supporter of the Month.

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Join Us for a Vietnam War Veterans Day of Remembrance
We could use your help to spread the word and also attend a new Reno event coming up on Saturday, March 30 th, to honor and remember Vietnam War veterans.
The Vietnam War Veterans Remembrance Day and All Veterans Luncheon will be held at the Reno Events Center, located at 400 Center Street in downtown Reno.

The day begins at 10:00 AM with the doors to the Events Center opening to the public. A Remembrance Ceremony will be held at 11:00 AM with a ceremonial wreath being delivered by the Patriot Guard Riders. The Colors will be presented by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #989. The guest speaker will be Brigadier General Robert Hayes.

At 1:00 PM, there will be an "All Veterans Luncheon" which will recognize all veterans of all eras and include special guests including Congressman Mark Amodei. Tickets for the luncheon are $40.

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Important Anniversary for Program to Honor and Remember Son Who Died Serving in Iraq
While Staff Sgt. Sean Diamond wasn't from Carson Valley, he loved getting his mother's care packages postmarked from her while he was overseas. Last month, Gardnerville resident Sally Wiley observed the 10th anniversary of Diamond's death in southern Iraq and of the care package program she began in his memory. "My husband Michael and I have been doing care packages for 10 years this year out of our garage, and with an enormous amount of generous people helping in many ways," she said.

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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 
2019 Pinnacle Customer Experience Award 
The Southern Nevada State Veterans Home has once again earned the prestigious 2019 Pinnacle Customer Experience Award. Additionally, for the first time ever, each neighborhood within in the Boulder City skilled care nursing facility received 14 out of 14 "Best In Class" nationwide, out of 16 categories.  Each neighborhood satisfied the rigorous demand of scoring in the top 15% of the nation across a twelve-month average.

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Northern Nevada State Veterans Home Update
It's almost here!  The construction "punch list" of the new Northern Nevada State Veterans Home (NNSVH) is nearly complete.  The plan is for management to be in the building by this spring.

Following that milestone, there are State licensure and federal certification steps whichmust take place and take a couple months.  The State of Nevada Health Division is the primary licensing entity and will conduct a construction and facility inspection as the first step. The next step is a federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) certification process. Finally, the federal Veterans Administration will conduct a certification survey.   All of these steps are required for the NNSVH to operate as a skilled nursing facility.

Once all steps are complete, the NNSVH will begin a gradual admission of residents concurrently with hiring staff for all the levels of care the home will be providing.

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Southern Nevada Healthcare System Provides Impressive Numbers
The Veterans Administration Southern Nevada Healthcare System held a Veterans Community Engagement and Transition Service Fair in February at the VA facility.
Several local VA leaders imparted detailed information about the status of the organization and how it helps veterans on an on-going basis. Director Peggy Kearns reported on fiscal 2018 end of year numbers, noting that 63,409 veterans were treated, showing 2.8 percent growth. In addition, 910,637 outpatient visits showed an increase of 18,465 over Fiscal 2017.

Parking Garage Construction at Reno VA
If you have an appointment at the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System, please keep in mind a major construction project now underway. The ONLY access to the lower level of the existing parking garage will be through Kirman Avenue.

The Reno facility, located at 925 Kirman Avenue, is pleased to announce the construction of a new parking garage with construction slated to take place from February 2019 and ending sometime during the summer of 2020.

For questions, please call 1-877-RENPROHero (1-877-736-7764) or visit their website for continuous updates at:  https://www.reno.va.gov/
VASNHS Expanding Intensive Care Unit Capabilities via Telehealth
The VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System (VASNHS) is expanding its intensive care unit capabilities at the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center via a new telehealth partnership with the VA Midwest Health Care Network's Regional Tele-ICU System, based in Minneapolis.

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ProgramsPrograms and Services
Northern Nevada Outreach - WE NEED YOU!
Nevada Veterans Advocates (NVA) are volunteers who complete 20 courses either all online or in combination with workshops offered at NDVS NVA conferences held annually.  Once a person has completed the NVA training they become certified and receive a certificate and a shirt that designates them as an NVA.

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Get Involved If You Are Already an Nevada Veterans Advocate
This month there are many opportunities to get involved as a Nevada Veterans Advocate (NVA) in northern Nevada.

If you're not an NVA, you have the opportunity to become one by attending a free, two-day workshop on April 6-7 th at Harrah's in downtown Reno. For more information or to register, click here:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-2019-northern-nevada-veterans-advocate-workshop-tickets-54183719965

If you want to participate in any of the opportunities below, email me at  yatesc@veterans.nv.gov

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Real Estate Law Affects Servicemembers and Spouses
Being on active duty and deployed overseas brings its own set of challenges, not only for the serviceperson, but in some cases more directly for the spouse. When it comes to problems with mortgages and real estate, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has remedies designed to help those who are deployed and their spouses who have been left behind.

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Truckee, California Based Non-Profit Pushes Injured US Veterans Out of Their Ccomfort Zone and Into The Mountains
The High Fives Foundation in Truckee, CA., the City of Reno Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department in Reno, NV., and the Adaptive Training Foundation in Dallas, TX are teaming up to host a program called Military to the Mountain. Twenty-two injured US military veterans will train at their respective facilities for nine weeks preparing them for a week of skiing at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe, CA. from March 17 - 23, 2019. The veterans will be instructed by Achieve Tahoe adaptive ski program.

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Resources Available for Children of Those Deployed
The lyrics in a song from the smash 1950's Broadway hit, "Bye Bye Birdie" once asked the question, "What's the matter with kids today?" That question could have been asked by parents of any generation. Kids often grow up in a generational gap that sets them apart from their parents' experience, when mom and dad were kids. The gap seems especially wide in this modern era of computers, cell phones, social media and other technological advances.

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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.

The purpose of the bureau is twofold. First, it will help ensure veterans, currently serving in the military in Nevada and their families have information about benefits and services that improve their lives. Second, the bureau is designed to raise public awareness about the rich legacy of Nevadan's who have served in America's military and how they can best support our veteran and military communities.

Across the nation, the statistics show less than one percent of Americans living today have served in the military.  This means there are fewer veterans in Congress and leadership positions in both the public and private sectors. Those decision makers are important to supporting and providing funding of necessary programs important to our military and veteran communities.

One of the best ways for a person to gain understanding of what it's like to experience something they have never been through is for them to listen to someone who has lived that experience.  NDVS can help provide this personal connection between veterans and our Nevada communities by development and maintenance of a veterans and military speaker's bureau.


For more information, you may also contact Josh Loftis at 775-825-9748 or  loftisj@veterans.nv.gov
NewsNews You can Use
New Blue Water Ruling on Agent Orange Exposure
When chemicals, liquids and powders are released into the air, how far do they travel, in which direction, and do they lose their potency over long distances? The answer is complicated and multi-faceted, and it depends on the wind, the weight of the element, additional factors in the air and a host of detailed technicalities. But according to select Navy veterans who served offshore during the Vietnam War, Agent Orange sprayed on land, migrated into the air and sea - eventually reaching American sea vessels.

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VA Decision Ready Claim (DRC) Program Is Discontinued Effective Today!
February 14, 2019

Directors,
VBA will discontinue the Decision Ready Claim (DRC) Program effective February 15, 2019.  In collaboration with Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), VA has determined that veterans are best served by focusing on the continued success of the Fully Developed Claims (FDC) program. Additionally, VA will continue to focus on the success of the Benefits Delivery at Discharge (BDD) program, which provides benefits to Service members following their separation from service.

Military Times - Free Child Care while Getting Medical Treatment
The Veterans Affairs Department could soon provide free child care for veterans undergoing treatment for mental health and other medical issues - a move some lawmakers hope will make it easier for veterans to get help.

The House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that seeks to make permanent an existing pilot program rolled out in 2011. At the time, a  VA survey found that more than 10 percent of veterans had to cancel or reschedule VA appointments because they lacked child care, and one-third said they were interested in child care services.

EmploymentEmployment/Education
What You Should Know about Occupational Licenses for 
Military Spouses in Nevada
Being married to an active duty military individual often means frequent moves. Spouses who earned occupational licenses in one state, such as educators, cosmetologists, police officers, certain medical interns and other professions, often have to apply again when moving to another state. It can involve taking tests again, and investing costly fees once more. Rules vary from state to state and city to city, but some licenses are transferable in different jurisdictions.

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RememberAlways Remember
Always Remember, Never Forget - March 2019
Spanish-American War

The Spanish-American War was an 1898 conflict between the United States and Spain that ended Spanish colonial rule in the Americas and resulted in U.S. acquisition of territories in the western Pacific and Latin America.


Navy Reserve Birthday

The U.S. Navy Reserve celebrates its birthday every March 3.
Formed in 1915 in response to the outbreak of World War I, the Navy Reserve made up almost 84 percent of the Navy's fighting force during the war. Among its ranks were five future U.S. Presidents and 15 recipients of the Medal of Honor. The Navy Reserve has since had reservists serve in every major war in which the United States has fought.


American Legion Birthday

March 15, the designated birthday of The American Legion, is the day in 1919 when the first American Legion caucus, held by members of the American Expeditionary Force, convened in Paris. Much as the birthday of the United States is celebrated on July 4 - for the day in 1776 when revolting patriots declared the independence of the British colonies and the spirit of America was born - March 15 is the date on which the Legion came to life.


National Medal of Honor Day

National Medal of Honor Day is observed every year on March 25 and is dedicated to Medal of Honor Recipients. Each branch of the U.S. military awards the Medal of Honor to those who have distinguished themselves "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity" above and beyond the call of duty, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs official site.

National Medal of Honor Day will be observed on Monday, March, 25, 2019.



Dates This 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 - March 2019
Click here for some events happening in March!
Nevada Department of Veterans Services 
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