- Benefits and Services
- Suicide Prevention
By Terri Hendry
Craig “Skip” Becker stood proudly within the crowd gathered inside the Pleasant Senior Center in Winnemucca on July 25, 2018. With his arms folded, he could barely contain his emotions as the ceremony to honor him as Veteran of the Month got underway.
Nevada Department of Veterans Services Director Kat Miller kicked off the event. She asked for a show of hands of the veterans in the audience and then narrowed the selection down to each branch of the military. Within those first few moments, it became clear Becker was among warriors from all five branches of service. As the ceremony continued, it also become clear Becker had gone above and beyond service to his community and fellow veterans.
In his younger years, Becker served in the Navy. Today he is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 12116 in Winnemucca. He received training as a benefits coordinator so he can help fellow veterans access earned benefits. He makes sure to bring brochures to the Senior Center so area veterans have access to information.
Becker is a member of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). He drives veterans to their medical appointments, sometimes as far as Reno. He also works as a backup driver for the Senior Center bus service. He helps load and give out food at the Community Pantry, as well as transports food to the Food Bank and Senior Center. You can also find Becker busy coordinating parades and memorial services, and setting up a booth and selling t-shirts at the Tri-County Fair.
VFW Vice Commander Bob Sheldon told the group it was Becker who made sure a homeless Coast Guard veteran was part of the community’s Veterans Day events. He said, “The veteran had set up camp next to the Humboldt River, living the way he chose to live. But Skip made certain that veteran attended our Veterans Day activities.”
Certificates presented on behalf of Governor Brian Sandoval and U.S. Senator Dean Heller were read out loud during the ceremony. Nevada Assemblyman Ira Hansen and Winnemucca Mayor Pro Tem Paige Brooks were also in attendance. By the time it was Becker’s turn to say a few words at the microphone, a wave of humility washed over him. It took him a second to become composed. Once he was able to speak, Becker spoke of the rewards that come in service to others. “I feel really, really good at the end of the day if I managed to help somebody. That is what makes me a very ‘happy camper,’ ” he said.
Becker’s family and extended family rallied around him afterwards for pictures, hugs and handshakes. Becker said, “This really makes me proud. I’m surprised I was selected. I feel…very honored.”
The Veteran of the Month program serves to shine a spotlight on veterans who go above and beyond in their service to fellow veterans or military members. If you would like to nominate someone as Veteran of the Month, see here:
Nominations for Veteran Supporter of the Month are here: