Nevada Department of Veterans Services Newsletter                               May, 2016 
By Kat Miller
Director, NDVS

The Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) partnered with Nevada’s United Veterans Legislative Council (UVLC) to host Veterans Legislative Symposia on March 26, 2016 in Reno and on April 16, 2016 in Las Vegas.  The biannual event serves as an opportunity to bring together various perspectives from the veteran community and to develop legislative recommendations for the upcoming legislative session.    

The initiative, which started over a decade ago, provides an opportunity for all veterans across Nevada to develop their agenda and prioritize their goals ahead of the upcoming session. While the Symposium is held in the even years between sessions, a Veterans Legislative Summit is held immediately before the Session to update the veteran community on progress. Finally, NDVS partners with the Nevada National Guard to hold Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature during the Legislative Session to bring awareness to the issues that affect the veteran community most.  

The aim of this Symposium was to bring together the veteran community and highlight the ideas and issues for the upcoming 79th Legislative Session in 2016. It also provided an opportunity to engage directly with veterans on issues, encourage them to work with legislators, and otherwise become or remain involved in the legislative process. Over the years, these events have been crucial to encouraging members of the veteran community to collaborate and make their voices heard to the State Legislature.  

This year, for the first time, two symposia were held; one in Las Vegas and one in Reno.  Additionally, travel grants were issued to several rural veterans representing veterans organizations in Elko to ensure issues identified were reflective of the rural areas. There were over a hundred veterans present in Reno and over eighty in Las Vegas.  As in past years, the perspectives ranged from World War II up through veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  
Several issues received the same number of votes as shown in the ranking below.  There were three common themes that ran through recommendations made at both symposia.  These themes were:  
  • Take action to prevent veteran suicide
  • Take care of family survivors (especially children) and caregivers of veterans
  • Improve the state’s ability to connect veterans to benefits, focusing on rural, student, Native American, women and elder veterans.
While generally specific items differed in each region, these themes clearly illustrated shared concerns among Nevada veterans and their families.  It is also worth noting that while most items were region-specific, there were five items that were common to both symposia.  They were:  

STATE-WIDE PRIORITY 1:  Mandate suicide prevention/awareness training for those who most commonly might come in contact with at-risk veterans (medical professionals, first responders, veteran service officers, etc.).  

STATE-WIDE PRIORITY 2:  Create a Veterans Service Organization Registry to help veterans connect to helpful veterans support organizations providing benefits and services.  

STATE-WIDE PRIORITY 3:  Extend the eligibility period for the Fry Scholarship to ensure all children of those killed in combat are able to use these benefits.  

STATE-WIDE PRIORITY 4:  I ncrease the number of Veterans Service Officers in rural Nevada.  

STATE-WIDE PRIORITY 5:  I ncrease presence of and support to Nevada veterans courts

The full report will be published on the NDVS website: by mid-May.

By mid-May, experience the updated GreenZone Network 2.0 --
NV VetNet -- accessible through the NVDS website:*

Veterans: use it to learn all the benefits you have earned as a Nevada Hero
Nevada employers:  post your positions, recruit veterans
Service providers: list services you offer to veterans, family members, active military
Family/friends: you will find ways to connect to the community
Community supporters: learn ways you can support and be involved

*NOTE:  These improvements require the NDVS site to go dark for up to two days later this month. The site will be up as soon as the changes have been fully tested and operational.
NDVS Facebook Offers Pages on Services, Programs, Health, Wellness, Legislative Developments, and More

More is better, and never has the adage been more true than providing updates, information, links and support for veterans, active military, and their families. Facebook provides the platform for sharing dates of local and regional events, breaking legislative news from the State and Washington, veterans organization programs, need-to-know benefits and claims items and postings from veterans throughout Nevada.

The expanded coverage is expected to be launched by mid-May. In order for it to reach a greater audience, we ask you to 'LIKE' the NDVS Facebook page and share what you see, hear, and learn with your Nevada veteran family.

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans

By Brett Fisher, Carson NOW

Nevada Vietnam War veterans were honored Saturday in Carson City as dozens gathered in Mills Park to observe the Vietnam Veterans Day of Remembrance and hold a welcome home ceremony at the Nevada Vietnam War Memorial.  Click here to read more.

Nevada State Veterans Home Residents Dream Flight

What a field trip...particularly in a vintage bi-plane defying gravity. Ageless Aviation Pilot Mike Summars, comfortably situated Richard Meyers, left, and Richard Hansen into the passenger seat for flights over the Boulder City area. Summars and his wife, Lynn, volunteer their time, skills and vintage bi-plane to accommodate any resident willing to take the 'ageless aviation' challenge.

Battleborn: Memorial to Nevada's Fallen Warriors

The Nevada State Legislature has authorized the design, construction and installation of a memorial dedicated to Nevada's fallen warriors on the Capitol Complex in Carson City. 

BATTLEBORN: Memorial to Nevada’s Fallen Warriors is intended to honor the extraordinary dedication, commitment and sacrifice of Nevadans who have borne the battle through service in the armed forces. The budget has been set at $250,000. This project is being financed by donations to the Nevada Fallen Soldier Memorial Gift Account, and may be phased accordingly. Finalist honoraria funding has been secured.

The Nevada Department of Veterans Services will oversee the project; the Nevada Arts Council will facilitate the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process and both the review and selection panels. Artists/teams residing in Nevada are invited to submit qualifications for consideration, Some artists/teams across the county will also receive invitations to submit qualifications.

All RFQ materials must be submitted by May 27 at 5 p.m. PDT, using the NAC Grants Online™ system at: Click here for the BATTLEBORN PDF. Questions? Please contact the NAC at 775.687.6680.


Central Region
AUSTIN, every two months on the 3rd Wednesday of the month
GARDNERVILLE, monthly on the 4th Tuesday of the month 
HAWTHORNE, monthly on the 1st Thursday of the month
SILVER SPRINGS, monthly on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.  This also includes Yerington, Dayton, Mason, Weed Heights, Fernley.
  To make a VSO appointment for any of the above locations in Central Region, call 775-321-4880.  Personnel can give specific information on Austin and also the rest of these locations for these appointments, and the Veterans Service Officer (VSO) who will serve you.  

Northern Region
BATTLE MOUNTAIN, monthly on the 2nd Friday of the month
ELY, monthly on the 1st Friday of the month
W. WENDOVER, monthly on the 3rd Friday of the month
WINNEMUCCA, monthly on the 2nd Tuesday of the month
All of these locations are through Interactive Video (IAV) at the Great Basin Colleges. 
  To make a VSO appointment for any of the above locations in the Northern Region, call 775-777-1000.  Personnel can give specific information on the locations for these appointments and the Veterans Service Office (VSO) who will serve you.  

Southern Region
BEATTY, monthly on the 2nd Thursday of the month LAUGHLIN, monthly on the 4th Tuesday of the month
MESQUITE, monthly on the 1st Tuesday and 3rd Thursday of the month
PAHRUMP, monthly on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday every week of the month
TONOPAH, monthly on the 3rd Thursday of the month
  To make a VSO appointment for any of the location listed in the Southern Region, call 702-224-6025. Personnel will give you specific information on the locations for these appointments and the Veterans Service Officer (VSO) who will serve you.
NVA Ranks Jump by 66 Percent - Rural Advocates Needed

Nevada Veterans Advocate (NVA) program, an outreach volunteer effort, earning the 'Pillars of Success' award from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, now has132 certified volunteers in its ranks. Several key program changes have generated this growth:

- Schools with veteran resource centers, including UNR and Western Nevada College, entice staff to take the course in order to better help student-vet clients
- Greater communication with volunteers currently enrolled in the 20-module, on-line courses, to provide updates on their progress, enhanced by new NVA Coordinator Jana L. McElhaney, available Monday through Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM at 775-825-9761
- Course participants are encourage to call or email Ms. McElhaney with course questions or assistance.
- NVAs are currently concentrated in Las Vegas: 42; Reno/Sparks: 48; Henderson: 6; with rural areas in need of continued capacity building
- NVA Northern Nevada Free Training set Oct. 15-17 (location to be determined). Of the 130 who attended the Las Vegas training in late-February, 14 have successfully completed and been certified as NVAs

Legion opposes efforts to privatize VA health care  
American Legion Past National Commander Joseph Frank traveled from St. Louis to Washington, D.C., on Monday to attend a roundtable discussion where ideas to privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs were proposed.

Members of VA’s Commission on Care met with Frank, along with other American Legion representatives and stakeholders, to discuss what is described as a “strawman" plan that has circulated in Washington suggesting the inception of a community care-based system for veterans – similar in nature to the 2014 Choice Program that provided veteran access to VA health-care facilities when they are too distant or overcrowded for patients in certain areas of the country. The plan would shut down VA medical centers over time, sending veterans out into their local communities to receive all of their medical treatment.  Click here for the rest of the story.

Military Times: VA Health Care Reforms are Underway, Leaders Tell Panel

A blue ribbon panel crafting recommendations to Congress on the Veterans Affairs health system heard Monday from the department’s top leaders, who said reforms underway at the department will improve many aspects of patient care by year’s end. Click here to read more.

VA Releases Two Women’s Mobile Health Apps

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) offices of Women’s Health Services and Connected Care has released two applications (apps) that will assist in providing healthcare assistance to women. Click here for the rest of the story.

Suicide Awareness March, Western Nevada College  - May 7, 2016 10 AM - 1PM 

VFW Silver State Post 3396 Meeting - May 10, 7 PM

Women's Health Summit, VA Medical Center, N. Las Vegas - May 13, 10 AM - 3 PM

Cootie Black Jack, VA Medical Center, Reno - May 13, 1 PM

VFW Silver State Post 75th Anniversary Celebration - May 14, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Vietnam Veteran Honor Flight Returns Home, Reno Airport - May 21, 1:30 PM

Yellow Ribbon Post 30-Day Deployment, 72nd MP, Las Vegas - May 21, 8 AM - 4 PM


Las Vegas Veterans Memorial Dedication, Grant Sawyer Building - May 27, 9 AM

Virginia City Celebration of Heroes Memorial Day Parade - May 28, noon 

Memorial Day Flag Ceremony, Elko & Carlin - May 30, 7:30 AM

Memorial Day service, Lone Mountain Cemetery, Carson City - May 30, 1 PM

Memorial Day Ceremony, Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Fernley - May 30, 11 AM, Gov. Sandoval and Col. Kat Miller, NDVS, officiating

Memorial Day ceremony, Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Boulder City - May 30, 1 PM

Sierra Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Lemmon Valley and Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery, Reno - May 30, 10:30 AM

Veteran Supporter of the Month Guidelines, Nomination Process Announced

The Veteran Supporter of the Month Award recognizes both active organizations and non-veteran Nevada community members that provide exceptional support to military stationed in Nevada, Nevada veterans, and their families.

The program is administered by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services. Read the VSM Guidelines Read the VSM Guidelines here.

Veteran of the Month Guidelines and Nomination Forms

The Veteran of the Month award recognizes Nevada veterans who contribute their time and energy to support veterans, their communities and/or the military.  

Submissions will be reviewed and chosen by the members of the Veterans Services Commission (VSC) at its quarterly meetings. Click here to read more.

The NDVS website will be 'under construction' a few days in May as added functionality, content and a revised 2.0 NV VetNet (predecessor to GreenZone Network) is tested and operational. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.