U.S. Army veteran Andy LePeilbet received two special honors and recognition last month. LePeilbet was named Veteran of the Month (VOM), and he also received a second Silver Star for gallantry in action in the Vietnam War. During the special ceremony held inside the Old Assembly Chamber in Carson City, Sparks City Councilman Paul Anderson was also honored as Veteran Supporter of the Month (VSM).
During the ceremony, Governor Steve Sisolak noted the many affiliations and work of LePeilbet to benefit Nevada’s veterans and military members. He also acknowledged the hard work and dedication of Councilman Anderson to benefit veterans and military members across the State. Both men received framed, special certificates, signed by the Governor as well as specially made pins before handshakes, congratulations and photos were taken. Shortly after the VOM/VSM ceremony, the Governor, Veterans Services Commission Chairman Bill Baumann and NDVS Director Kat Miller also participated in presenting LePeilbet with a second Silver Star for gallantry in action during the Vietnam War. (see General Orders below). Additionally, LePeilbet’s brother, retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Michael LePeilbet, participated in the Silver Star ceremony as did Legion of Valor National Commander, retired U.S. Marine Lt. Colonel George Malone.
LePeilbet’s support to veterans began as early as 2008, while serving as Commander of the local Chapter of Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH). He also served as State Commander from 2013 to 2016 and, he continues to serve MOPH as a State and Chapter Adjutant as well as a Legislative Officer.
In 2013, LePeilbet joined the United Veterans Legislative Council (UVLC) and was appointed to the UVLC Board of the Directors in 2018. In 2014, LePeilbet assumed the role of Legislative Liaison with the Vietnam Veterans of America, Sierra Nevada Chapter 989. LePeilbet also played a major role raising funds for the very well received, “Vietnam War Veterans Remembrance Day" event held at the Reno Event Center in March of 2019. LePeilbet is an active member of the Chapter’s Color Guard. In 2015, he assumed the duties of Treasurer for Reno Chapter 1 of the Disabled American Veterans and is still serving in this role today.
LePeilbet also serves on the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home Advisory Board.
Councilman Anderson’s support to veterans includes taking a lead role in the Truckee Meadows Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans and their Families team. His nominator for VSM noted, “Councilman Anderson jumped right in with no hesitation and has been an incredible leader for the City of Sparks. Councilman Anderson cleared his schedule, traveled to Washington DC and actively began discussing how he, the team and the City of Sparks could integrate multiple agencies and begin collaborations with community stakeholders to help promote the importance of mental health, learning how we identify our military population and then teaching our communities the importance of why we identify and how we can support our military population.”
His nominator stated,” Councilman Anderson also represents the Mayor’s Challenge team by assuring, in board meetings and a variety of community events he attends, that the team’s message of suicide-prevention, social support and ensuring our veterans are connected to their communities is a priority.”
Additionally, his nominator stated, “Our communities have benefited from the strong, passionate and caring leadership of Councilman Anderson. He has gone the extra steps to educate himself on the State’s veteran population, the data surrounding suicides, the cities data and how he can help make life-changing differences. Councilman Anderson’s positive attitude and willingness to listen to the citizens in our communities has allowed the Mayor’s Challenge team to make advancement in connecting other State agencies to the important action items in the team’s strategic plan to fight against suicide. When the team is asked to attend and support veteran events or to speak in support of our suicide-prevention efforts and breaking the negative stigma surrounding mental health, Councilman Anderson is always one of the first team members to ask, when, where and how can I support?”
After the VOM/VSM ceremony, Director Miller made a Call to Order to the group gathered before reading the following General Orders outlining the circumstances behind LePeilbet’s second Silver Star:
“The President of the United States of America, authorized by an Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an Act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star to First Lieutenant (Infantry) Andrew R. Lepeilbet, United States Army, for gallantry in action while engaged in military operations against an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam.”
“First Lieutenant Lepeilbet distinguished himself while serving as a Platoon Leader with Company A, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division on 3 March 1969. While on a sweep mission through Plei Trap Valley, Lieutenant Lepeilbet’s platoon was suddenly engaged by an enemy force of unknown size. Reacting immediately, Lieutenant Lepeilbet rushed to the area of heaviest contact, continually exposing himself to deadly hostile fire. Lieutenant Lepeilbet single-handedly engaged the enemy emplacement which had pinned his platoon down. Crawling through intense grenade and small arms fire, he directed his platoon to place suppressive fire on the enemy. Though dangerously exposed, he crawled even closer to the emplacement and silenced the vicious machine gun fire. First Lieutenant Lepeilbet’s exceptional courage, outstanding leadership, and exemplary devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.”
The Veteran of the Month and Veteran Supporter of the Month awards were established to recognize and honor those who have gone above and beyond in support of Nevada’s military members, veterans and their families. It is an opportunity to shine a bright light on the work veterans continue to do for our State.