Nevada Department of Veterans Services Newsletter December 2017 
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Wreaths Across America
By Terri Hendry
(Boulder City & Fernley, NV) – One of the busiest times of the year is coming up at Nevada's two veterans' cemeteries this month. Wreaths Across America will be held on December 16, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Odds are it will be standing room only inside the chapel at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery (SNVMC). In Fernley, crowds are also expected at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery (NNVMC) for the special wreath laying ceremony.

Wreaths Across America honors all branches of the military and all those designated as Prisoner of War (POW) and Missing in Action (MIA). The ceremonies in southern and northern Nevada are coordinated with more than 750 veteran cemeteries across the nation to pay respect to the fallen. Participants who place a wreath on a veteran's grave are encouraged to say that veteran's name aloud and take a moment to thank them for their service to our country. It is a small act designed to keep the memory of our veterans alive. Karen Worcester, Executive Director of Wreaths Across America said, "We are not here to 'decorate graves.' We're here to remember, not their deaths, but their lives." 

Who Knew Santa Loves Chicken Nuggets?
By Chuck N. Baker
(North Las Vegas) - Veterans organizations do many things to help their members and community throughout the year. But when Christmas rolls around, one post goes all out to make the holiday one to remember for children and grandchildren of veterans.

Post 10047 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has a long tradition of hosting Christmas parties for the children. The Senior Vice Commander of the post is Joe Meade, a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War. He said the annual Christmas party is for members and their families adding, "We have about 35 or 40 children and I play Santa!” This year the party is scheduled for December 16th. It’s held during the day and lunch is served. Always on the menu -- chicken nuggets and fries! It's such an annual staple some of the children have come to believe chicken nuggets are Santa’s favorite food, keeping him warm at the North Pole! Plus, the kids love nuggets! 

Holiday with a Hero at Nevada's Capitol
By Brook Keast, PIO, Department of Corrections
(Carson City, NV) – Holiday with a Hero is an annual event at Nevada's capitol aimed at making sure a special group of local children have a very merry Christmas. These children would otherwise not have presents to open on Christmas Day.

Holiday with a Hero pairs children from kindergarten through the 5 th grade with military members, firefighters, police officers, public officials, school district and community volunteers. The event provides each child with a gift card to shop for things they need, such as clothing and shoes, as well as a toy to call their own.
The children have been identified as living in transition through the Carson City School District. The "Students Living in Transition Program" helps children, whose families are identified as homeless and are living in shelters or motel rooms. Simply put, they do not have a permanent home.

A Promise Kept
Military Burial for 13 Unclaimed Nevada Veterans
By Tom Draughon, Nevada Veterans Coalition
(Fernley, NV) – You are invited to attend the military funeral for 13 unclaimed Nevada veterans. The service will be held on Friday, December 8, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 14 Veterans Way in Fernley, Nevada.

This will be the sixth "Missing in America" mission by the Nevada Veterans Coalition to ensure the veterans receive the honor and burial they were promised through their military service. According to the Nevada Veterans Coalition the names of the veterans are as follows:

Governor Recognizes Veteran Carmen Rank and
Scottish American Military Society Honor Guard Post 1864
(Carson City, NV) – Carmen Rank is known for her work in connecting all Nevada National Guard and reserve members to resources as well as benefits earned through military service. She is also known for doing so much more to help military members, veterans and their families, which is why she received the Governor's Veteran of the Month honor and award.

She received the recognition at a ceremony held November 17th inside the Old Assembly Chambers in Carson City. The ceremony also honored the Scottish American Military Society Honor Guard, Post 1864, naming the color guard Veteran Supporter of the Month.

The awards recognize Nevada's men, women or organizations that have gone above and beyond in volunteer work supporting military members, veterans and their families. The award puts a spotlight on the work and service veterans and others do for those who have served our country.  

New Concierge Service Being Explored at
Nevada State Veterans Home
By Terri Hendry
(Boulder City, NV) – A pilot initiative is underway at the Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City. NDVS is exploring the benefit of having a concierge person. This is an individual who can spend extra time with family members, residents and team members.

The Home is already credited for doing an exceptional job at providing for the health and well being of its residents. It also has a strong clinical staff and excels in volunteer support, activities and quality of care. But industry trends have identified skilled nursing facilities often do not have the opportunity to capture the successes of the hospitality industry for the "little things" that benefit the customer experience.

Since the end of October, Jan Aiala was brought on board to serve as concierge. She has a very strong background in business and customer satisfaction. Plus, she has the added bonus of a background in mental health counseling for veterans with specific specialties that are necessary for the veterans and families we serve. She is now serving in this capacity five days a week, including weekends.
A Special Ceremony Honors Vietnam Veterans
After all these years, Vietnam veterans at the Southern Nevada State Veterans Home received the welcome home they failed to get decades ago. Reporter Briana Erickson shares a special "Veterans in Care" ceremony in this Las Vegas Review-Journal story:
Teen's Passion for Computer Programming Makes Big Difference at
Nevada State Veterans Home
By Terri Hendry
(Boulder City, NV) – Nineteen-year-old Carlos Dye does a lot of volunteering at the Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City. During his winter break last year, he was tasked with tallying all volunteer hours and placing them manually into an excel spreadsheet. "It was really, really tedious," he said.

Dye was a high school senior at the time, attending a Las Vegas magnet high school, Advanced Technologies Academy. He had developed a passion for computer programming. He said, "I kept thinking, this is terrible. I spent my two-week break trying to log all the hours and only got half-way done. Plus, I couldn't read all the handwriting and some volunteers forgot to put all their information down."

Dye knew there had to be a better way. He said, "I spent the next few weeks thinking about it and decided I would write a computer program that would automatically track and automatically place the information on an excel sheet." But his solution came with challenges. He talked with NDVS Internet Technology staff member Brandon Torres. Dye said, "He was like, OK. But I had to use something called a GUI (graphic user interface) program and they did not teach that at my school. So, I had to teach myself."

Nevadans Pay Honor on Veterans Day 2017
By Chuck N. Baker and Terri Hendry
(Reno & Las Vegas, NV) – While Las Vegas bills its Veterans Day Parade as "the largest parade west of the Mississippi," cities large and small across Nevada paid tribute and honored those who have served our country on November 11 th , Veterans Day.  

In Reno, NDVS Director Kat Miller served as Grand Marshal kicking off the annual parade featuring 85 participants this year. The parade followed a short ceremony and fly over by a Coast Guard helicopter. Everyone, from veterans service organizations and auxiliary units to non-profits, such as the Veterans House, participated. High school color guards, JROTC members, marching bands entertained the crowd lining both sides of Virginia Street. Boy and Girl Scout troops, along with some famous faces including politicians, were also represented. There were so many people marching, the parade took two and a half hours to conclude.
The parade in Las Vegas was even bigger, but it wasn't always that way. In the mid-1990's, somehow the ball got dropped. Plans and funds were scarce to continue the tradition of a Veterans Day parade. That's when members of the now defunct Post 1753 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars stepped forward and sent a delegation to meet with then Mayor Oscar Goodman. It didn't take much to convince him to corral the assets of the city when it came to issuing permits, allocating security, designating specific streets and providing city entrants to participate. Grateful veterans and their families have turned out in droves ever since.

New Veteran ID Cards
By Terri Hendry
(Washington D.C.) – There is a lot of buzz surrounding the new photo identification cards veterans will be able to apply for online and obtain directly from the Department of Veterans Affairs. NDVS continues to receive questions about these cards. Here are five things we know so far.

  1. Working to implement -- On July 20, 2015, the President signed into law the “Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015”. This Act allows eligible veterans to be issued an identification card directly from the VA. It was hoped the new cards would be available last month, November 2017. Our VA hospital and health care partners in both northern and southern Nevada are working hard to implement the measure and start issuing the cards. A lot of work is going on behind the scenes. Stay tuned and watch this space.

Two Scams to Look Out for in Nevada!
By Gail Powell, PIO, NV Dept. of Public Safety and Terri Hendry
(Carson City, NV) – State and federal officials are warning to be on the lookout for two different scams potentially targeting Nevadans. One attempts to get your personal information by posing as a representative of Medicare. The other involves the potential of buying a used car with flood damage from the hurricanes in Texas and Florida earlier this year.

The Medicare scam comes at the time when new Medicare cards are expected to be issued beginning in April 2018. Federal officials say your new Medicare card will NOT have your social security number on it. This is to help protect you against identity theft. Your new card will have a Medicare number unique to you, an 11-digit identifier that is a mix of numbers and letters.

Women Veterans More At Risk for Health Issues than Civilian Women
(Washington D.C) - A new report is out and it's an eye opener for women who have served in the U.S. military. The Military Officers Association of America teamed up with the United Health Foundation to produce a shocking health report. In a nut shell, it says female veterans report higher rates of cancer, mental illness, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and depression than women with no military experience.

Read more about it here:
Parasite Killing Vietnam Veterans?
(HERALD, W.Va.) — Research is underway to determine if a parasite is striking Vietnam Veterans, a half a century after serving in that war. It is suspected that hundreds of veterans might have been infected by a slow-killing parasite they picked up while fighting in Vietnam.

Read more about it here:
Just in Time for the Holiday!
Free Gift for Gulf War Veterans
If you’re 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 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.
Buy a Veterans License Plate, Benefit Veterans
The State of Nevada offers a unique way for you to show the world you're a veteran, proud of your country and your duty. At the same time, your display will also be helping other veterans across the Silver State. Veteran license plates are available through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with each purchase, the money goes towards veterans outreach programs all aimed at connecting veterans to benefits, services and programs to which they are entitled and have earned.

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

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

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

Visit the Nevada DMV by clicking her e:
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 and visit
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:
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