Nevada Department of Veterans Services Newsletter February 2017 
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By Terri Hendry

(Carson City, NV) – Governor Brian Sandoval presented special recognition to two women, one of them a veteran herself, for their work and commitment to helping fellow veterans. 
U.S. Army veteran, Peggy Bohn received the "Veteran of the Month" honor in a ceremony in Carson City on January 11, 2017. Bohn hosts LadyVets meetings where the program is designed to promote social time, information exchange, networking and VA benefits information. She also participates in veterans' events known as "Stand Downs," as well as helps veterans get the care they've earned through their service. She has also assisted with surveys, focus groups and collecting data that helps design programs to improve the quality of life for veterans. 
The Governor also presented Linda Haigh with the "Veteran Supporter of the Month" honor for her extensive work in bettering the lives of veterans. Haigh and her husband Wayne founded the Adopt a Vet Dental program in 2010. It partners veterans in need to dentists who are willing to care for veterans free of charge. The program started with six dentists and today the number has grown to 110 dentists in 10 northern Nevada counties. In 2007, she started a Veterans Outreach Program at her church after discovering 60 low income veterans living and surviving with difficulty at an apartment complex in Reno. The church program provides items including clothing, bedding, food, bus passes and gift cards to veterans in need.  
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.

(Carson City, NV) – The Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS), in partnership with the United Veterans Legislative Council (UVLC), hosted two Legislative Summits in January. One was held in Las Vegas, the other in Carson City, Nevada.  

The Summit is designed to provide information to veterans, their families and veteran supporters with information about proposed legislation that could impact those serving in the military or veterans. UVLC President Kevin Burns and UVLC Vice-President Tony Yarborough walked attendees through key issues identified through 2016 Veterans Symposia. Some of those "big ideas" that surfaced in the series of symposiums included actions to prevent veteran suicide, take care of family survivors especially children and caregivers of veterans was well as improve the State's ability to connect veterans to benefits, particularly in the rural areas.  

In Las Vegas, State Senator Joe Hardy and Assemblyman Chris Edwards,  were on hand. In northern Nevada, Edwards joined Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle to address the audience.  

A number of key bills were discussed including the Governor's Legislative Bills. AB 24 would revise provisions governing the tuition charges assessed against certain students within the Nevada System of Higher Education. This bill would help veteran students. SB 33 would prohibit the foreclosure of real property owned by certain military personnel or their dependents in certain circumstances. SB 70 would revise provisions governing management of certain abandoned or unclaimed property deemed to have military value. It would allow the NDVS Director to transfer this kind of property to the Nevada State Museum or the Nevada Historical Society or any suitable state, federal or non-profit entity. This bill would also protect against the disposal or destruction of unclaimed property or artifacts with military value.  

There are also other key bills proposed such as AB 2 which would revise provisions regarding the Patriot Relief Act. This would remove the requirement that only those who have been called to active services are eligible for monetary relief. SB 7 would revise provisions of the Nevada Code of Military Justice updating it so certain offenses are subject to court-martial proceedings.  

Other bills of administrative importance, being brought forward by NDVS, were discussed but some of the agency's budget priorities include funding for the new Northern Nevada State Veterans Home, additional Veterans Service Officers to serve rural areas as well as capital improvement projects at Nevada's State Veterans Cemeteries. The Summit allowed participants to also learn how policies are developed as well as how to track legislation. You may learn more about the 79th Session of the Legislature as well as how to keep track of proposed legislation by visiting our website at

Mark your calendar and make sure you participate and attend the upcoming Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature on March 15, 2017.  

The day in Carson City starts at 8:00 AM with coffee and networking near the Veterans Memorial behind the Capitol Building. At 9:00 AM, the Governor will be signing critical veterans legislation and will host a ceremony honoring distinguished veterans. The Nevada National Guard will host the Color Guard as well as provide military static displays. Between around 11:30 AM and Noon, the Assembly and State Senate will pass resolutions in honor of Nevada’s Fallen. At noon, lunch will be served outside using the National Guard’s mobile kitchen.

If you would like to set up a display or exhibit booth at the event, just click here to registerWe hope to see you there!  

By Tyrus W. Cobb

Reno and the nation have suffered a great loss with the passing of Lt. General Martin Brandtner (USMC-Ret), who died unexpectedly on January 3. “Marty” was a heavily decorated and twice-wounded Marine, having been awarded the Navy Cross not once, but twice (The Navy Cross is just one level below the Medal of Honor)! He and his wife Sandra moved to northern Nevada in 2003, and he was deeply engaged with the National Security Forum, the Catholic Diocese, Manogue High School, and several service clubs.

As a Captain commanding a rifle company in Viet Nam in 1968, Brandtner led a reconnaissance patrol near the village of Lan Phuoc, where his lead platoon triggered an ambush by North Vietnamese (NVA) troops. As Brandtner moved forward to join the fight, he was hit badly when an enemy grenade showered him with shrapnel. Brandtner ignored his own injuries and moved forward to attack the North Vietnamese ambush position, tossing his own grenades, and destroyed the enemy stronghold. The fight continued as a short range grenade duel as other NVA troops moved forward. Ignoring his own wounds, Brandtner scooped up the enemy grenades and hurled them back at the NVA troops.

When a grenade landed near his own fire team, Brandtner picked the grenade up and threw it back at the enemy. Knowing the grenade’s force would also hit his own team, Brandtner flung himself atop his own men, absorbing the shrapnel himself. Despite his wounds, then Captain Brandtner consolidated his unit’s position, coordinating artillery strikes against the NVA positions. That forced the enemy to abandon its positions and flee, and only then did Brandtner allow the corpsmen to attend to his wounds.

Just eight days later, Brandtner and his company were establishing ambush positions when they were attacked by a battalion-sized NVA force. Ignoring enemy rifle, machine-gun and rocket fire, Captain Brandtner moved from position to position, directing his Marines’ fire, reorganizing the defense and inspiring his men. Over the next two hours, the NVA launched three more attacks and were thrown back with severe losses each time. The NVA attacked repeatedly, but the Marines held their positions and the enemy forces finally withdrew. During the two battles, while the North Vietnamese suffered considerable casualties, Brandtner’s company lost only one man! These two actions resulted in Brandtner receiving two Navy Crosses and the distinction of being one of only two Marines in Vietnam to earn the medal twice.

During his career as a Marine infantry officer, General Brandtner led at every level, commanding three platoons, two rifle companies, a battalion, the storied 5th Marine Regiment, and as the Chief of Staff of the 1st Marine Division. As a general officer, he served as Assistant Division Commander, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Forces (FMF), Commanding General, 10th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and Commanding General, 2nd Force Service Support Group, FMF. 

General Brandtner’s staff assignments included serving as the Senior Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy during the Reagan Administration.  In 1990, General Brandtner was nominated for his third star and assignment as Director for Operations, J-3, on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, serving under General Colin Powell.  As the J-3, General Brandtner was responsible for operational planning for Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, and subsequent major U. S. global operations in Turkey, Iraq, Bangladesh, Somalia, and Bosnia. 

General Brandtner is survived by his wife, Sandra, and four children and seven grandchildren.

By Terri Hendry 

(Reno, NV) - U.S. Navy, World War II veteran, Margaret Allen has seen a lot in her lifetime. At 107-years young, she has either served in or seen every US conflict beginning with World War I. Allen was among some 44 veterans who received a special honor and recognition during a Veterans in Care (VIC) ceremony, a program developed by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services.  

The VIC program is designed to identify and recognize veterans who are now living in eldercare communities. The January event featured three veterans who have celebrated 100 birthdays! Yes, you are correct, they are 100-years-old! Governor Brian Sandoval handed out specially minted coins to each veteran being honored. The approximately 100 people crowded in to the recreational room at Five Star Premiere Residences of Reno to watch the veterans receive their special recognition and to be honored. Some were brought to tears while they additionally received certificates and were also pinned with a commemorative VIC pin as part of the ceremony. Governor Sandoval said, "It is humbling and an honor to be among so many Nevada heroes." NDVS Director Katherine Miller said, "It is heart warming to see these men and women remembered and honored in this way." She added, "Some of them have told us they felt their service had been forgotten." As of December 2016, more than 500 veterans have been recognized through the VIC program.  

To watch media coverage of this event click here.

To learn more about the VIC program click here. 

By Julie Boyster

(Las Vegas & Reno, NV) -  The Nevada Department of Veterans Services held its inaugural launch of a Veterans In Care " Bravo Zulu" training initiative in Las Vegas in January. This program is designed to enhance awareness on how the military experience of aging veterans affects and impacts the role of those who provide care to them.

"Bravo Zulu: Achieving Excellence in Relationship-Centered Care", is a series of eight workshops with four being held in southern Nevada  and an additional four workshops being held in northern Nevada. The "Bravo Zulu" training is offered throughout the year for health care facilities and care partners. As you may already know, Nevada is home to nearly 300,000 veterans. Forty-three percent are over the age of 65. This statistic prompted the NDVS to partner with the Perry Foundation and its nationally known expert and author, Jennifer Carson, Ph.D.  Carson is a Professor at the University of Nevada-Reno. She developed the training and was the key presenter at the workshops

This first workshop had 54 attendees, from a variety of health care settings.  A closing panel of veterans, gave additional insights to the participants. Pictured left to right: Greg Flemming, an AmeriCorps State volunteer; Ben Jefferson, NDVS Veteran Services Officer; Shirley Pfannebecker, Nurse Manager at the Nevada State Veterans Home; Poppy Helgren, Chief Nursing Officer at the Nevada State Veterans Home; Bobbie Oats (USAF retired), Nevada Women's Veterans Advisory Council. 

The second workshop was held at the Alzheimer's Association building on Cordone Street. 

By Terri Hendry

(Reno, NV) - The Nevada Department of Veterans Services is reaching out so you can learn important information by sitting back and listening to the radio. Thanks to long-time Nevada veterans supporter, Connie McMullen, Publisher of the Senior Spectrum and Boomer Magazines, she is lending her hour long radio program to the NDVS! Just click the link to listen to the most recent program featuring the latest information from NDVS.

The most recent program was hosted by former television anchor-reporter, Terri Hendry and it featured NDVS Director Kat Miller. In program you heard about the recruitment to fill outreach positions with both the AmeriCorps State and the AmeriCorps Vista programs from AmeriCorps State Program Director, Tamalyn Gee and AmeriCorps Vista Outreach Coordinator, Blake Boles. 

NDVS will also host the upcoming programs on the following dates on KCKQ 1180 AM. Just tune in from 12:00 PM- 1:00 PM to listen or check back to our upcoming newsletters as we will provide links so  you can listen! 

2/1/17: New VA presumptive conditions associated with water contamination (1953-1987) at Camp Lejeune  

2/22/17: Native American Veterans, Generations of Veterans 

3/15/17: Incarcerated Veterans and Student Veterans 

4/5/17: Veteran Benefits—State and Federal 

NDVS wants to thank Connie McMullen for her generosity and support of Nevada's veterans! Also, thank you for listening! 

By  Hail Bernstein Saylor/Boulder City Review

(Boulder City, NV) - George Markle receives kisses from Poppy Helgren, left, director of nursing, and Linda Gelinger, administrator, of the Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City after he was presented with his high school diploma Tuesday. Markle, 91, a World War II veteran, left high school in Bigelow, Arkansas, to join the Army after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. He was honored through the Operation Recognition program, which helps veterans who left high school and served between World War II and the Vietnam War obtain their diplomas.

A special recognition was held at the Nevada State Veterans Home, January 30th, 2017.  The American Legion "Spirit of Freedom" Post 76, presented each resident a "Veteran" ball cap with the seal of the branch of service they had served in.  Spouses in residence also received hats honoring their husband's service area.

Pictured are the members of the American Legion in front of a quilted Flag at the Home.  In addition, Commander Joel Forman presented the Director of Nurses Poppy Helgren, who is also an Army Veteran, with one of the hats.  A third picture shows Ron Michalski  of the Home's Independent Review Panel in the red cap with several of the American Legion members and Veterans in the home that were  honored . 

Contribution from George Ann Rice. Written by Terri Hendry

(Las Vegas, NV) - On Saturday night in Anaheim, at the Student Veterans of America 2017 National Conference, Ross Bryant was honored as the SVA “Chapter Advisor of the Year.” He was chosen out of 1400 SVA Chapters. After receiving the honor and award Bryant said, “I was shocked, humbled and honored. I appreciate our SVA chapter for nominating me, and I can’t emphasize enough that this has always been a team effort!”

UNLV was recognized as a campus that truly cares for and provides excellent service for our more than 1700 veterans. Since June of 2012, UNLV has made a great commitment in supporting the veterans returning from what is now more than 16 years of war. During the last 5 years, the Military & Veteran Services Center has enjoyed great support, community collaborations and greatly improved services. 

Bryant said, “It begins with the exceptional UNLV support led by Dr. Juanita Fain and our AVP, Mike Sauer." He added, "They have ensured that we have a robust staff to help all the UNLV student veterans get their VA payments and benefits on time.” He also said, “The Military and Veteran Services Center certifying staff, led by Melissa Barber, includes Julie Kaeding, Sharon Savage and recently Tricia Rucinski (in the position formerly held by Erika Busbee) all do a tremendous job.” Bryant emphasized, “Nothing at UNLV happens without this team processing files, getting each veteran certified and meticulously posting payments. I appreciate and honor all of you. Thank you for working so harmoniously and cohesively as a team!”

Bryant credits the success to great partnerships with the VA's VetSuccess program, the Nevada Department of Veteran Services (NDVS), the Student Veteran and Military Family Services Committee, the National PAVE program, the various community veteran support nonprofits/programs, the newly formed Veteran Community Engagement Council and the leadership of the two Student Veterans of America Chapters (Rebel Vets & Rebel Women Vets).

Bryant said, “All of these relationships have improved our services and positively impacted our student veteran population. I thank all of you who are involved with these programs and organizations.” He also gave a special thanks to his wife Amy Bryant said, “She has always been with me in the Army and later at UNLV. She is my ROCK!” 


(Carson City, NV) - Phyllis Anker Bendure, 97, was more than just a sergeant during World War II.  One of Nevada’s oldest living WWII veterans, Phyllis also was a teacher in the military and in northern Nevada schools. She was a trusted aide and delivered top-secret information, and had tea with presidents’ wives.  She’s a veteran many could look up to, as she was a part of the Women Army Corps in the 1940s.  Her journey has led her to be Governor Brian Sandoval’s special guest at his "State of the State" Speech in January.  “I think it’s wonderful,” she said. “I’ve never been so honored before.” 

Click here to read more.

Event Takes Place in Biloxi, May 7-11 

By Michael Molina

(Washington, D.C.) - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will accept applications from Veterans interested in competing in the 2017 National Veterans Golden Age Games beginning Feb. 1, 2017. Veterans ages 55 and older and enrolled in VA health care may complete applications online at will be accepted through March 1, 2017. 

The National Veterans Gold Age Games Director, Carla Carmichael said, “The VA is committed to offer sports and fitness as an integral part of a successful healthcare program, and I encourage every eligible Veteran to take advantage of this opportunity.” Carmichael added, “There are significant health benefits to leading an active lifestyle, and in keeping with the Games motto, we want every Veteran to achieve 'Fitness For Life.’” 

The 2017 National Veterans Golden Age Games will take place in Biloxi, Mississippi, May 7-11, 2017. Nearly 800 athletes are expected to compete in the national multi-sport competition for senior Veterans, embracing the “Fitness for Life” motto. The event encourages participants to make physical activity a central part of their lives, and supports the VA’s comprehensive recreation and rehabilitation therapy programs. Competitive events include air rifle, badminton, boccia, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, nine ball, power walk, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis, and track and field. Exhibition events include: air pistol, archery, basketball, blind disc golf and pickleball. 

VA research and clinical experience verify that movement and exercise are important to maintaining good health, speeding recovery and improving overall quality of life. The games encourage participants to continue in local senior events in their home communities and every other year serve as a qualifying event for competition in the National Senior Games. VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System will host this year’s games. The Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System provides care for more than 50,000 Veterans throughout Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. 

For more information visit  and follow VA Adaptive Sports on Twitter at @VAAdaptiveSport or on Facebook at

Do you want to serve the heroes that have faithfully served us? Then join us as an AmeriCorps Member with the Nevada Department of Veterans Services!

Nevada has an estimated 300,000 veterans living within its borders, and their number is growing every day. Our goal is to make sure they know about all the benefits that they have earned, and are able to take advantage of them. Many have severe life barriers, and don't even know they're eligible for assistance.

In short, your work with us can potentially save lives! 
AmeriCorps VISTA: As an Outreach Coordinator, you will be working on building capacity for many of our programs to assist student veterans, women veterans, the aged, destitute, and other special populations. This can be challenging, and we are looking for some bright, squared-away individuals to make a difference in their lives. You might also be assisting with social media, special events, newsletters, and marketing.

Positions are currently available in Elko, Las Vegas and Reno.  
AmeriCorps State: Primarily, you will reach out to various communities across Nevada to build Veteran Community Collaboratives (VCC's), which are integral to educating and disseminating valuable information to all of Nevada's veterans, wherever they may reside.

Positions are potentially available across the state.  
For more information about training, benefits and service, click on
or contact Tamalyn Gee at 755-688-1653.

Thank you for your interest in serving Nevada's Heroes. We look forward to hearing from you!
Any veteran or his or her spouse, parent or child can purchase a veteran license plate. The applicant certifies that he or she qualifies by signing the Veteran License Plate Application (SP 33). 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 website to learn more. 

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.

7th - Mesquite
Mesquite Veterans Center -
VVA 840 Hafen Lane
Mesquite NV USA
9:30 a - 2:30 p

9th and 23rd - Nevada Senior Services
901 N. Jones Blvd.
Las Vegas NV 89108 USA
9 a - 3 p

Reno Town Mall
4001 South Virginia Street, Suite F (Second Floor, Above the library)
Reno NV 89502 USA
9 a - 1 p

Douglas County Senior Center 
10 a - 3 p

Pahrump every Monday, Wednesday and Friday
By NV AG Office

(Carson City, NV)--The Nevada Attorney General’s Office of Military Legal Assistance (OMLA) provides 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 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. Click here for the statewide listing.

February OMLA Dates


POC, CMD FRED DOTEN, 702-445-1694 


POC, JULIE BOYSTER, 702-332-6717

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