Nevada Department of Veterans Services Newsletter                       March, 2016 
VA Honors NDVS Innovation for Veterans Advocate Program

Last week was a great one for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services!  NDVS  was selected by the US Department of Veterans Affairs as the 2016 recipient of the Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence Award for best veterans service practices.  Four other states were recognized in various categories, but Nevada won for having the most innovative state program—the Nevada Veterans Advocate Program (NVAP).  Read Director Miller's full text 

Photo: With NDVS Director Kat Miller, left, are all honorees of the Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence Award winners with Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald, third from right.  
Veterans Legislative Symposiums
Reno – Saturday, March 26, 8AM-12:30PM, Nugget, Sparks
Las Vegas – Saturday, April 16, 8AM-12:30PM, Cannery Hotel/Casino, No Las Vegas  

In the 78th Nevada Legislative Session, 75 percent of Veterans and family bills that took root at the Legislative Symposiums became law. The high rate of success is attributable to the early  work begun the day of the Legislative Symposiums and the weeks and months leading up to the 78th Legislative Session.
 It is time again to begin work for the 79th Legislative Session. Contact Liz Watson for more information: Co-hosted by NDVS & United Veterans Legislative Council. The State of Nevada Department of Veterans Services Invites you to the  2016 Veterans Legislative Symposium
  If you are interested in attending, please register, via email: .  More information about the meeting will be emailed to you.
  To forward the Symposium flyer with both dates for wide distribution, click here.
Award-Winning Nevada Veterans Advocate (NVA) Program Trains Over 100 in  L as Vegas

With only 24 Veterans Service Officers (VSO) working to process Veterans claims across Nevada's 10,622 square miles, effective outreach is better accomplished with the aid of a dedicated and trained corps of volunteers.  
 That's where the NVA program comes in, with 20 on-line modules to give volunteers the information Veterans need to connect to benefits and services.  Whether it's helping distribute benefits literature at a community event, providing claims applicants with a list of required paperwork needed for a meeting with a VSO, or providing information on education and employment benefits, these advocates provide a helping hand to what can be a difficult and frustrating first step toward navigating the “sea” of veterans benefits available.   At present, there are almost 100 NVAs providing this valuable support in cities and towns across Nevada.  Recently, 100+ took the free three-day training in late-February in Las Vegas.  A workshop is also planned this summer in the Reno area (stay tuned). To learn more about becoming a NVA,
ROVER Reaches Out to Veterans at Nevada Colleges,  Aging & Disabled Centers

Veterans, enrolled in higher education and those with aging and disability challenges, are being met where they are by NDVS VSOs through ROVER (Rural Outreach for Veterans Enrichment and Resources Program) scheduled outreach.  VSOs are also using video technology, courtesy of Great Basin Community College, to reach across the miles to connect with veterans in rural and frontier Nevada. To find out when ROVER VSOs are coming to your town, click here .  
  Remember, with one visiting VSO at each location, it is critical veterans make appointments for the most effective use of time. To secure an appointment, northern-based Veterans must call the Reno office of NDVS at 775-321-4880 and southern-based vets call 702-224-6025. Phones are manned Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Veterans will receive a reminder call the day before appointments.
Join with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval & 
Distinguished Guests
USS Nevada Centennial Celebration
March 11, 2016. Noon - 1 PM
Nevada State Capitol Grounds
Handful of USS Nevada shipmates reunite

By Keith Rogers
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Flashbacks from when they fired 5-inch guns on the USS Nevada during the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, the 1944 D-Day invasion of Normandy and the 1945 bombardment of Iwo Jima rolled through Byron McGinty's mind Monday while he watched a documentary on the legendary battleship with four of his shipmates. After viewing the 35-minute film by Henderson Army veteran Chuck Pride, the 90-year-old McGinty, from San Diego, said he was lost for words about how he felt. "I'm just too emotional inside over seeing the film," said McGinty, who had joined the Navy at age 17. Link here for the rest of the story
Robert L. (Bob) Lough

Robert L. Lough recalls how Vietnam War veterans were shunned when they returned to the U.S., and now he wants to be there for former military personnel who need a friend in tough times.
  Bob served in the U.S. Navy from 1967-73 and is a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Henderson and Boulder City Chapter 1076, among other involvement with local military and community groups. He also has been volunteering with Henderson Municipal Court's Veterans Treatment Court since it started in 2011, helping veterans get back on their feet after being charged with misdemeanor crimes.
Donald Eugene (Don) Podlas

Donald Eugene Podlas (Don) was honored as the Nevada Veteran of the Month by Director Kat Miller of the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. The ceremony was held at St. Ann's Catholic Church, Dayton.        Don served with the United States Marine Corps in Korea. A resident of Dayton since 1980, he is a 28-year member of the Marine Corps League in Carson City and has served as a chaplain of this detachment for much of those years.
  "Don is the first to offer assistance and prayer to those in need,' said Nick Lazzarino, who nominated the Marine for one of Nevada's highest veterans honors. "He has a passion to honor those who have followed in service to the country, and is in constant contact with all veterans in the Carson Valley communities. "
Click here for the rest of the story.  
Ron Gutzman

Ronald (Ron) Gutzman, named Nevada Veteran of the Month for March,  moves comfortably through military, veterans, political, social, and church circles in a life of service to his community, veteran and non-veteran alike.
  Ron, a combat Marine serving three years in the Korean War, has spent his post-war years representing Nevada veterans service organizations in Nevada, his adopted home. He is a familiar and respected face in government offices in northern Nevada, as well as inside the Nation's Capitol.   
  Ron represents the interests of a close veterans community with 10 of 25 years in the American Legion as Legion representative to the Nevada Veterans Services Commission, and as a member of Capitol Post 4 in Carson City, helping veterans and their families. 

The Nevada State Veterans Home (NSVH) is the only veterans' home in Nevada, located 23 miles southeast of Las Vegas in Boulder City, Nevada. NSVH is a State-owned and operated facility receiving support from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  
  NSVH, an 82,000 square foot facility, opened in 2002 and can accommodate 180 residents. There are three living units, called neighborhoods, one of which provides two levels of secured-care living for individuals suffering from advanced cognitive impairment.   Each neighborhood has dedicated staff providing 24-hour skilled nursing care with a clinical team committed to "Caring for America's Heroes".   
  In addition to long term nursing and residential care, the Nevada State Veterans Home provides respite care,  hospice services, short term restorative and rehabilitative therapies,  on-site social workers, activities for the unique interests of veterans; a full service kitchen and dining facilities and transportation to appointments. 

Photo: "The Happy Gang" at the weekly Jam Session with our veterans at the NSVH. Musicians and performers volunteer their talents for a fun-filled hour every week.

This week NNVMC started a project to remove old trees, remove approximately 6,000sf of sod and replace with Flowering Pear trees, decomposed granite and a decorative mow curb.

The project will enhance the aesthetics of the cemetery grounds while at the same time reduce overall water consumption.

May 28, 2016 @ 7am – Placing Flags on Graves

May 30, 2016 @ 1pm – Memorial Day Ceremony              

Unaccompanied services are held the fourth Thursday of the month at 3:00pm for Veterans without family or with friends unable to attend.

How many National and State Veteran Cemeteries are there in the United States?

There are 113 State Veteran Cemeteries across America, with an additional 9 currently being constructed.  Nevada has two State Veteran Cemeteries, one in Boulder City and another in Fernley.

There are 131 National Cemeteries in 40 states (and Puerto Rico) as well as 33 soldier's lots and monument sites.

May 7, 2016 @ 10am - Unserviceable Flag Ceremony

May 28, 2016 @ 7am – Placing Flags on Graves

May 29, 2016 @ 10am – Special Forces Ceremony

May 30, 2016 @ 1pm – Memorial Day Ceremony              

Unaccompanied services at the SNVMC are held every Thursday at 8:40am for Veterans that do not have family or friends that are able to attend.

Ambassadors of the Army, the United States Army Field Band Concert –                    March 7,  7 PM  Concert  

Women Veterans Clothing Drive - March 12, starting at noon - Drive

U.S.VETS - Las Vegas is Hosting the 13 Annual Stand Down - March 16, 8:30 AM -- 4:30 PM  Stand Down

Veterans Job Fair – March 16, 10 AM -- 1 PM  Jobs

Women Veterans Forum/Memorial Dedication – March 18, VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare,  1 - 3 PM  Memorial Dedication

Free Housing Conference & Expo for Veterans -- March 19, 9 AM - 3 PM

Free Concert for Veterans: Motown Miracles – March 20. Doors open at 5 PM Motown Miracles

Northern Nevada Veterans Legislative Symposium, Nugget/Sparks – March 26,       8 AM - 12:30 PM  Veterans - Be Heard!

Southern Nevada Veterans Legislative Symposium, Cannery/No Las Vegas -- April 16, 8 AM - 12:30 PM Veterans - Be Heard!

Nevada National Guard Women's History Month Presentation  - March 28, starting at 3 PM - Women's History

Full calendar listing on  March Calendar