We congratulate J.R. Stafford for being named Veteran of the Month (VOM) and Brigitte Stafford for being recognized as Veteran Supporter for the Month (VSM) of October 2021.
Stafford is a Coast Guard Retiree who has been an incredible supporter of Veterans in northern Nevada since becoming active in the community in 2017. In that year he joined the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 989 where he hit the ground running and was elected to be the chapter president in April 2019. Since joining the group, he’s been an active volunteer. He has served as a “docent” educating the public about the significance of the Traveling Wall for Vietnam Veterans when it was in Minden; worked with his Representative of the Associates of VVA to partner with NDVS to execute a successful Vietnam Remembrance Event at the Reno Events Center; and partnered with the Reno Aces to host a Military Appreciation Game that also dedicated a POW/MIA chair for one of Reno’s veterans who had been a resident at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”. In 2020, despite the pandemic, he has led the groups response and support for the Northern Nevada Veterans Home, helping to organize donations of crafts, activity equipment, and organized vehicle cruises to help break the isolation experienced by residents and staff. Under his leadership, VVA 989 has maintained and expanded its activities with the hosting of a Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Event in 2021, a classic car cruise for the residents of the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home, and providing color guard support for parades and Veterans In Care Ceremonies when possible.
Brigitte Stafford, is the Area Representative for the Associates for Vietnam Veterans and the event planner for VVA 989, where she has been an instrumental contributor in helping the chapter achieve it goals. As the event planner, she been the chief lead for the chapter helping coordinate participants, locations, and supplies for the events the chapter has organized. For the 2019 Vietnam Veterans Remembrance day, Brigette helped to coordinate 26 Veteran Service Organizations to participate in the event and provide information to visitors. She also organized the event to serve as a fundraiser, helping to fun the chapter’s annual scholarships for veteran students at UNR and TMCC, and for the Veterans Guest House, Honor Flight Nevada, and Adopt A Vet Dental Program. While the pandemic put a pause on large events, she supported the chapter in its efforts supporting the Veterans Standdown and organized an appreciation luncheon for the staff of the Northern Nevada State Veterans home, helping maintain staff morale a trying year. As the State began to re-open, Brigitte helped secure the Hawkins Amphitheater in Reno for the 2021 Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day, organizing one of the first large scale events in this new environment. Her talents, however are not limited to only hosting events, she has help facilitate donations to the State Veterans Home of planter boxes, Halloween pumpkins, and jigsaw puzzles.