Veterans Court for Clark County

clock April 22, 2013 10:03 by author Caleb Cage

In the Senate Judiciary chambers this morning listening to Assemblyman Anderson talk about Assembly Bill 84, which would help build the Veterans Court program in the Las Vegas area.  The bill received a fair hearing, and lots of support from members of the audience.  It looks like it has a good chance going forward.

Veterans Courts have become the national standard in many respects in diversion courts for service members who have returned to civilian society.  They allow wrap-around services for those who may have committed crimes, and who may have access to unique resources through the VA and other services that might assist in their rehabilitation, and sometime, reintegration.  These courts have had higher success rates, and often cost the local government less in terms of resources. 

Assemblyman Anderson sits on the Veterans Services Commission as well, and Veterans Court, especially in Clark County, has been an interest of his for sometime.  We have been working with the Veterans Court in Washoe County since it was established several years ago, and have been encouraged by the various efforts going on in Clark County.  If Assemblyman Anderson's bill is passed, we will certainly do our best to assist there as well.

Veteran News from Around the State

clock April 15, 2013 10:31 by author Caleb Cage

Las Vegas Veterans Court participants have the chance to hear stories of Flying Tigers.

Nevada welcomes home one of its National Guard Transportation Companies after deployment to Afghanistan. 

The U.S. Navy has named a new ship after Carson City.   

I wrote about the proposed Office of Veterans Policy and Coordination in my weekly column for the Nevada Appeal.

The Elko POW/MIA group hosts a scholarship fundraiser.  

The "Always Lost, A Meditation on War" exhibit from Western Nevada College will be at the Legislature starting this week. 

Acclaimed WNC Exhibit Coming Home To Show at Nevada Legislature

clock April 9, 2013 07:58 by author Caleb Cage

This was announced at Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature.  Take a look at the press release with dates and information below:

“Always Lost: A Meditation on War” is returning to its roots. Western Nevada College’s acclaimed creative writing/photographic exhibition about the costs of war will be on display in the Nevada Legislative Building’s second-floor atrium on weekdays, April 17 to May 3.

An opening ceremony for the exhibit is planned for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17. It will include a Presentation of the Colors and Sounding of Taps, with remarks by Robert Crowell, Mayor of Carson City; Nevada Senate Majority Leader Moises Denis; Nevada Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick; and Caleb Cage, Executive Director of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services.

The exhibit is free and will be open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hours may be extended if the Legislature is in session after regular business hours. Inquiries regarding extended hours may be addressed at 775.684.6800.

“Always Lost, A Meditation on War” began as a creative writing class assignment at WNC in 2009, based upon an idea by Sociology Professor Don Carlson, who observed that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were perhaps the most impersonal that the United States has ever fought. This developed into a long-term effort by English Professor Marilee Swirczek and her students to personalize the costs of war through words and images.

The exhibition offers a sacred space to contemplate those personal and collective losses. At the heart of the exhibition is the Wall of the Dead, which depicts the faces and names of the more than 6,500 service men and women who have died in those wars since September 11, 2001.

The images, combined with writings by the students and other Northern Nevadans, and Pulitzer Prize-winning combat photos used with permission from the Dallas Morning News, comprise the exhibit. It also includes a study of SPC Noah Pierce, an Iraq war veteran who took his own life after serving two combat tours in Iraq. Interviews with student veterans represent the thousands of service members who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Project Manager Amy Roby said she is pleased that the exhibition will be on display in Carson City. “It is fitting that this project, which originated in Carson City and has been traveling across our nation since fall 2010, will be shared with Nevadans in such a special place,” she said. “It is an opportunity for all of us to recognize the sacrifices made by our military service members in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.”

A second, traveling exhibit is currently on display at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, the 15th venue on the tour. The exhibit that will show at the Legislature is newly replicated, thanks to a gift from Carson Nugget/Community First. The newly created exhibition will make its debut at the Legislature.

WNC Professor Emeritus and project co-creator Marilee Swirczek shares Roby’s appreciation. “We are humbled to share the exhibition, which has been called ‘a national treasure,’ with our honorable legislators as well as with our community,” she said. “We know that the exhibition, in their care, will be beautiful and meaningful.”

Always Lost appears in conjunction with SENarts, a partnership among the Nevada Senate, Nevada Arts Council, and Nevada Division of Museums. The partnership includes arts competitions, programs, and a campaign to build the Senate’s permanent arts collection.

Seven Marines Killed in training

clock March 19, 2013 08:18 by author Caleb Cage

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Marines who were injured and killed as well as their families. Although we do not know who these Marines are, nor what the cause was, we know much about them. We know that they were willing to serve their country during wartime and to sacrifice for it. The willingness to do so by them and so many like them should not be forgotten, especially now that they have fulfilled that commitment for our nation. May they rest peacefully and may their families be comforted during this difficult time.

The Reno Gazette-Journal is carrying the story here

Governor Sandoval said of the incident this morning:

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the incident at the Hawthorne Army Depot this morning. The men and women who work and train there put service ahead of self each and every day. Kathleen and I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to those killed and their families. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured and we pray for their speedy recovery.”

Jack Streeter's Story

clock February 20, 2013 23:23 by author Caleb Cage

I have had the pleasure of working with the University of Nevada, Reno's Oral History Program for several years now.  They do incredible work there, capturing first-person narratives from historic and every-day Nevadans alike.  They are also great trainers: we worked with them when we put together the book, Battle Born: Nevada War Stories a few years back.  One of the projects they worked on a few years back is called War Stories: Veterans Remember World War II.  They were kind enough to provide me with a copy of Mr. Streeter's personal story from that book, which I have pasted in the link below.  Take a look, and read his amazing story when you get a chance.

Streeter OH higher res.pdf (2.25 mb)

About the Author

Kat Miller is the Director for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services.

Colonel (U.S. Army, Retired) Katherine Miller was raised in Reno and served 34 years in the United States Army.  Starting as an enlisted soldier, she culminated her military service with assignments as a military police brigade commander serving in the United States and in Afghanistan; and as the Commander of the Department of Defense’s largest correctional organization.

After retiring she taught college at the University of Maryland and the University of Nevada, Reno. She served as the Deputy Director for the Nevada Department of Veterans Services prior to accepting appointment as the Director.

Her education includes a Master’s of Science Degree from the U.S. Army War College and a Master’s of Public Administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago

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