Showing posts with label Nevada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nevada. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Deported veterans advocate to bring their ‘brothers’ home

On the campaign trail, deported veterans advocate to bring their ‘brothers’ home

Although the exact number is unknown, the American Civil Liberties Union has documented almost 250 cases of deported veterans living in 34 countries

The Nevada Independent
Michaela Chesin
July 28th, 2019

“We’re asking the presidential candidates if they’re willing to support the repatriation of the veterans they have been deporting and to stop the deportation of those who already have been deported,” Lopez explained.
Presidential candidate Kamala Harris speaks to a large crowd of potential voters during a June campaign stop at the Doolittle Community Center in Las Vegas.

But her speech is interrupted by Las Vegas resident Cesar Lopez, who once lived in Harris’ home state of California. His voice grows louder from the middle of the crowd.
Veteran Cesar Lopez talks with presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris during a campaign event at the Doolittle Community Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 15, 2019. (Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent)

“We need someone who will bring our veterans back,” he shouts, before quickly explaining that several hundred deported veterans are unable to enter the country that they risked their lives defending. The crowd breaks into applause, and Lopez continues: “Are you going to bring them back?”

This isn’t his first stop on the campaign trail. Just this year, 45-year-old Lopez has approached Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Seth Moulton, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, ex-HUD Secretary Juli├ín Castro and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. He usually starts by calling out to them from the crowd and then aims for a one-on-one conversation after the event. His goal is to hold them accountable to one promise: Bring his brothers home.
Although the exact number is unknown, the American Civil Liberties Union has documented almost 250 cases of deported veterans living in 34 countries. A study done by the ACLU highlights the lives and experiences of many of them. (People who aren’t United States citizens can enlist in the military, but they must have a permanent resident card, live in the United States and speak, read and write English fluently.)
read it here

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

NBC Anchor says "in Nevada 20 veterans a day commit suicide"

Nevada VA takes new approach to combat rampant veteran suicides
NBC 3 News Las Vegas
by John Treanor
July 15th 2018
“A veteran can walk into our facilities and seen, and if they say ‘I’m in crisis,’ they can see someone that day,” said Dr. Komanduri.
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Suicide is still a serious problem plaguing our veterans. An average of 20 veterans take their own lives each day.

The alarming number of veteran suicides has been an ever-present shadow cast over our country. It’s a number that represents a sad fact in America.
read the rest here
The sad fact in America is reporters do not seem to care enough to learn anything about this!

What is really alarming is when a reporter says that the "20 a day" veterans committing suicide are from Nevada! "Believe it or not" he really did say that.
Here is the clip!

If he blames the teleprompter, then he should have known better!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Nevada veterans have one of the highest suicide rates, still

VA Secretary visits Southern North Las Vegas, takes on veteran suicide
Darcy Spears
March 9, 2018

Access to mental health treatment critical
Las Vegas (KTNV) - Veterans Affairs' Secretary David Shulkin came to visit our VA hospital in North Las Vegas today taking on the staggering problem of suicide.

Contact 13 looks into how many Nevada veterans have taken their own lives and how the VA hopes to prevent that in the future.

Suicide among former military members is much higher than the general population on average 20 veterans take their own lives every day. That adds up to over 7000 a year.

While state and VA leaders say those national numbers are not acceptable, what's happening here in Nevada tells an even darker story.

Nevada veterans have one of the highest suicide rates, 59.8, in the country compared to the national rate of 38.4.
read more here

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Las Vegas Victims Fund Raised $31.5 Million

$275K going to family of each person slain in Vegas shooting
Associated Press
Published: March 2, 2018
Victims fund spokesman Howard Stutz said the nonprofit expects to pay 100 percent of the funds raised, with payouts beginning Monday.
Manuela Barela passes crosses set up to honor those killed during the mass shooting in Las Vegas. GREGORY BULL/AP
Police say 851 people were hurt by gunfire or other injuries while fleeing. LAS VEGAS — A $31.5 million victims' fund that started as a GoFundMe effort announced plans Friday to pay $275,000 to the families of each of the 58 people killed in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The Las Vegas Victims Fund said the maximum $275,000 also will be paid to 10 other people who were paralyzed or suffered permanent brain damage in the Oct. 1 shooting on the Las Vegas Strip.

The nonprofit posted a chart projecting payments on a scale to a total of 532 people, including more than $10 million divided among 147 people who were hospitalized.
read more here

Thursday, September 28, 2017

27 Veterans Laid to Rest After Being Forgotten

Remains of 27 veterans laid to rest after decades

KMVT 11 News
Rebecca Kitchen
September 26, 2017

FERNLEY, Nev. (KOLO) -- They served our county, but for decades, the remains of 27 veterans were unclaimed at Walton's Mortuary in Fernley, Nevada. They served in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and most of them passed nearly 30 years ago.

"Nobody ever came to claim them," Tom Draughon with the Northern Nevada Veterans Coalition said. "Nobody ever came and took them home."

Draughon says they will continue to look until every veteran who passes hears the words, 'Well done, good and faithful patriot. Enter into your well earned rest."

To learn more about the Missing in America Project, click here.
The veterans who were laid to rest are:
Charles Beckerman (1896-1984) served in the US Navy 1918 - 1918 WWI
Gerald Gillingham (1900-1990) served in the US Army 1918 - 1918 WWI
Edward Gerval (1915-1990) served in the US Navy 1945 - 1945 WWII
Joseph Bosse (1917-1988) served in the US Army 1941 - 1945 WWII
William Degliantoni (1919-1990) served in the US Navy 1940 - 1945 WWII
William Guthrie (1925-1990) served in the US Navy 1943 - 1946 WWII
Arturo Hayes (1922-1983) served in the US Marine Corp 1944 - 1946 WWII
Webster Johnson (1911-1988) served in the US Navy 1942 - 1946 WWII
Bernard Koolpe (1914-1988) served in the US Army 1940 - 1945 WWII
Richard Long (1921-1988) served in the US Army 1943 - 1950 WWII
Sterling McPherson (1921-1990) served in the US Army 1945 - 1947 WWII
Knox Moore (1921-1989) served in the US Merchant Marines 1942 - 1945 WWII
Eddie Robbins (1923-1988) served in the US Army 1945 - 1947 WWII
Andrew Sealock (1920-1990) served in the US Army 1943 - 1946 WWII
Earl Spaulding (1921-1989) served in the US Navy 1943 - 1945 WWII
Lorenzo Thompson (1913-1988) served in the US Army 1942 - 1945 WWII
Heinrich Ulrich Jr. (1907-1989) served in the US Navy 1943 - 1945 WWII
James White (1915-1989) served in the US Army 1943 - 1946 WWII
James Wilson (1920-1988) served in the US Army 1944 - 1946 WWII
James Adams (1924-1989) served in the US Navy 1944 - 1952 WWII/Korea
Edward Alexander (1921-1989) served in the US Navy 1941 - 1952 WWII/Korea
Lyle LaMere (1923-1989) served in the US Air Force 1942 - 1963 WWII/Korea
Devier Tozer (1925-1989) served in the US Navy 1943 - 1950 WWII/Korea
Terry Fausch (1934-1983) served in the US Air Force 1951 - 1955 Korea
Patrick Ingram (1936-1985) served in the US Army 1954 - 1957 Korea
Charles Roe (1921-1990) served in the US Navy 1941 - 1946/1969 - 1974 WWII/Vietnam
Ronald Bowser (1947-1984) served in the US Army 1965 - 1976 Vietnam
read more here

Friday, September 22, 2017

When Will They Ever Learn a Non-Number Leaves Out Healing?

Here we go again with the non-number of veterans committing suicide. The really bad part is this report is from the VA blog!

Before you read what could have been a wonderful thing to do, catch up what you may have missed, also from the VA regarding veterans committing suicide.

A shocking finding was that California is on the list, yet California does not track veteran suicides. They are going to start doing it. For the veterans they know about the rate was 39.1.

For Florida Veteran Suicide Rate was 40.4 yet state average was 18.8 with the majority over the age of 50. Go to the link and look up your state. Here are a few more.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -Newly released data from the Department of Veterans Affairs shows that in 2014, the most recent year on file, 127 Nevada veterans committed suicide. The statistic makes Nevada's veteran suicide rate 60 per 100,000 veterans, well above the national average of 38 per 100,000.

But the suicide rate for Michigan was higher than national averages for the 18-34 age group at 122.2 per 100,000 compared with the national rate of 70.4 and the Midwestern rate of 79.2. The veteran suicide rate also is high in Michigan for the age range of 35-54 at 52.3 compared with the 47.7 national rate, according to the Michigan VA data sheet.
The good thing is that veterans being treated at the VA are still less likely to commit suicide. The bad thing is, for all of this "awareness raising" about a non-number, it is time to change the conversation on healing awareness if we really want to change the topic from suicide to surviving!

Ring the bell: Veterans call for Veterans to help end suicide

VAntage Point
September 20, 2017

All eyes are on a Veteran in the back of the hall talking about a guy from the old unit.  His buddy had said “I’ll get over this.” But he never did.  Then there was the final step, suicide.
Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines: active duty and Veterans of Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and peacetime stand together.  There’s a brass bell made from a shell casing off of a war ship positioned at center stage.  This is Suicide Awareness Night, and the hall is packed.
VFW Post 3631 in Aurora sits at the crossroads of Colfax and Tower Road outside the city of Denver where the plains of eastern Colorado begin.  Just over a year ago the post’s commander, Gary Anguilm, read in an article that 22 Veterans were dying by suicide every day.  “Being Veterans we decided we wanted to do something about it,” Anguilm said.
And that’s when the idea came to invite the community to come together on the 22nd of every month at the VFW, to learn about Veteran and military suicide and how to help.IMAGE: A brass bell, made from a shell casing, is rung in honor of Veterans lost to suicide.
Anguilm is a Vietnam Marine Corps Veteran who served two tours in the infantry between 1964 and 1966.  He organizes this event with meticulous attention to detail, starting at 5 p.m. with socializing fueled by burgers, hot dogs and fries – free for all Vets.   It’s a way to honor them, with the added benefit of drawing in a crowd.  At 6 p.m. sharp everything stops, and everyone rises for the Star Spangled Banner.  A Navy officer comes to the stage.  She strikes the bell 22 times in remembrance of each Veteran lost.
The number of Veterans who die by suicide each day changes over time, and right now, that number is down to 20.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Family of Veteran Wins Lawsuit Against Nevada State VA Nursing Home

State will pay $750,000 to family of veteran who died after legionella found in nursing home's water 
The Nevada Independent
Michelle Rindels
September 13, 2017

Gov. Brian Sandoval apologized to the family of an 88-year-old man who died at the Nevada State Veterans Home in 2015 after legionella bacteria was found in the water, then voted Tuesday to approve a $750,000 payout to his survivors.

The settlement with World War II veteran Charles Demos’ five children comes after the family sued the state on a litany of grounds, alleging negligence, wrongful death, elder abuse, infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, training and supervision and breach of contract. A court denied the state’s motion to dismiss the case, and officials with the Nevada attorney general’s office said lawsuit costs could have spiraled to $2.5 million absent a settlement.
“I feel horrible that this has happened,” Sandoval said at a Board of Examiners meeting where the settlement was approved. “It’s a tragedy. This is a gentleman who served our country with distinction … I think this is a fair settlement and I just want to make sure that it was clear on the record that they have my apology.”
Demos, who would have turned 91 on Monday, was a member of the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps and had a decades-long legal career in Florida before retiring in 2010. After moving to the veterans’ home in Boulder City, he served two terms as president of residents at the nursing home and enjoyed playing chess and talking politics.
read more here

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Helping DAV Gives Veteran Reason to Get Up--All Summer Long

Vietnam Veteran spending summer raising $100,000 for disabled Nevada veterans
NBC 4 News
by Ryan Kern
July 4th 2017
"I have a reason to get up," says Greenwood. "I know, somewhere out there, there's a veteran who needs my assistance, that needs my help and I want to be there when the time comes."

RENO, Nev. (News 4 Fox 11) — A local Vietnam veteran spends his summers sitting outside in the hot sun, raising tens of thousands of dollars for disabled Nevada veterans and various veteran organizations across the region.

"Almost 20 years ago, somebody helped me out," says Veteran Frank Greenwood. "Ever since I have been paying it forward."

Frank Greenwood spends eight hours a day, seven days a week for three months out of the year selling raffle tickets in front of the Sportsman's Warehouse in Reno.
Several weapons and a Polaris UTV are available to the winning ticket holders come the end of August.
Greenwood, working with the Disabled American Veterans Reno Chapter #1, has a goal of selling $1,000 worth of raffle tickets a day, leading to a $100,000 total this summer.

read more here

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Iraq Veteran, Robbed of Gifts, Embraced With Love Then Pays It Forward

Family that had presents stolen plans to pay it forward
Reno Gazette Journal
Sarah Litz
December 16, 2016
“We will be paying it forward for a long, very long time. Everyone has been so amazing to us and they just want to make sure our boys have a good Christmas, and that means the world to us.” Kelly Howe
Kelly and Brian Howe sit together with their adopted children Charlie, left, and Kirt while speaking with the RGJ in their home in Reno on Dec. 15, 2016.
Kelly and Brian Howe saved up for months to create the perfect Christmas for their adopted 2-year-old twins, Charlie and Kirt. The parents hoped to get the twins things they loved for Christmas – toy cars, books and anything with lights or music.

After a day of shopping, the family made a last stop for the day at the Walmart on Kietzke Lane. When they returned to their car in the parking lot, they found the car door open. What they didn’t find was a stroller, diaper bag, bottles, jackets and the presents they had just bought.

According to Lt. Zachary Thew with the Reno Police Department, the doors were locked and the suspects popped a door lock to get inside and burglarize the vehicle.

Kelly said the family lives on a fixed income with many hospital bills. Brian was shot in the Iraq War and suffers from traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and cognitive seizures. Kelly – who is a full time caregiver to her husband and children – was diagnosed with a rapid form of Meniere’s disease.

Both boys suffer from cortical visual impairment, sensory and auditory processing issues and agenesis of the corpus callosum – a rare birth defect in which the matter between the two hemispheres in the brain is missing. She said the boys have trouble focusing, don't talk and are being tested for more here

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Las Vegas DA Challenges Authority of Veterans Court?

DA Wolfson challenges standing of courts that help veterans
Las Vegas Review Journal
Keith Rogers
June 4, 2016

“For five years, it has worked great and there wasn’t any problems. Why now? I don’t know.” Judge Mark Stevens
Steve Wolfson, Clark County District Attorney, speaks during a news conference on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, at the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas to discuss ongoing efforts to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors.
(Jacob Kepler/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Other than judges themselves, few people know the virtue of veterans treatment courts better than Jason Brooks.

The 43-year-old Iraq War Marine veteran was among the first to graduate from Henderson Municipal Veterans Court with his domestic violence case dismissed and records sealed.

He’s gone from being a client to a mentor. Now he helps other veterans facing misdemeanor DUI and domestic violence charges meet the requirements of counseling, rehabilitation and community service to get a second chance at succeeding in life.

Gov. Jim Gibbons signed a 2008 law creating veterans courts; they were established three years later. Now, after five years, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson has filed papers with the Nevada Supreme Court challenging the legal authority for municipal and justice courts to host veterans treatment courts. He contends the law specified only District Courts have authority for veterans courts.

“It makes no sense. We have a proven track record that it’s working,” Brooks said Thursday. “We’ve been doing it for five years now and 90 percent of the cases going through are DUI and domestic violence.”
read more here

Saturday, March 19, 2016

"Murderer" Carved by Coward on Iraq Veteran's Truck

'Murderer' etched into Henderson veteran's truck
Written by Craig Huber
and Cyndi Lundeberg
and Jordan Gartner
Mar 18, 2016

“My mind went blank. When you look at it, it’s so hard to actually accept that it’s real."
The word "murderer" was etched into Henderson veteran Livio Waits' truck on March 17, 2016. (Livio Waits)
A local veteran believes he was the victim of a hate crime after an incident took place Thursday morning.

Livio Waits, an Iraq war veteran, awoke to find the word “murderer” etched into the side of his truck.

"You know, when I first saw it, it was hard to wrap my head around it," Waits said.

Waits was a sniper and his truck has veteran license plates. He believes his truck was defaced by someone who opposed the war.

"I didn't even put it together what the word meant at first, but then it all just hit me like a wave," said Waits.

The Iraq war veteran, who works at Battlefield Las Vegas, said it’s hard to imagine why someone he put his life on the line for would treat him like this.

read more here

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fatal Motorcycle Crash Claims Life of Fort Carson Soldier

Fort Carson soldier ID'd as victim of fatal motorcycle crash
The Gazette
By: Chhun Sun
September 30, 2015

The man who died in a weekend motorcycle crash in Fremont County was identified Wednesday as a Fort Carson soldier, officials said.

Spc. Rafael Munoz Baez, 44, was traveling north on Colorado Highway 9 when he lost control of his 2005 Buell XB12S motorcycle while going around a curve near mile marker 5, Colorado State Patrol said. The motorcycle went down an embankment, where Munoz-Baez was thrown from the bike and suffered fatal injuries. He was wearing a helmet, State Patrol said. read more here

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Every 3 Days A Veteran Commits Suicide in Nevada

Nevada vets commit suicide at alarming rate
LasVegas Now
By Patranya Bhoolsuwan
Published 09/10 2015

One Nevada veteran commits suicide every three days, according to a Nevada study focused on suicides among vets.

The study, Revisiting an Epidemic: Suicide Mortality in Nevada's Military Veterans, Service Members and their Families, was conducted by the state's Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

The highest percentage of veteran suicides in this state are among those who are 55 or older.

Experts say the goal is to raise awareness so vets know there is help available.

When it comes to suicides among veterans, experts say the reasons are complex.

One issue is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

The disorder doesn't only affect young soldiers, it also affects those who fought for their country decades ago.

"They are more therapy for me than I am for them," veteran Cynthia Dias said.

Dias, 64, says her 3 dogs are what keep her happy, but it wasn't always that way. For years, the Vietnam war veteran suffered from severe depression and PTSD.

It got to a point where she contemplated taking her own life.

"It was heartbreaking, anger issues came up that I didn't really understand," she said.

"I believe the problem is worse than what we are hearing," said Arnold Stalk, founder of Veterans Village.
read more here

Thursday, August 6, 2015

VA Pahrump Nevada Clinic Finally Going Foward

VA awards $12M contract for Pahrump clinic
Las Vegas Review-Journal
By Steve Tetreault and Keith Rogers
August 5, 2015
"The fight doesn't end here," said Carl Jones, commander of the Disabled American Veterans Pahrump Chapter 15. "Now we need the VA to build it quickly and find the right staffing to make it operational."

A series of Nevada lawmakers have pressured the VA to move forward on a new Pahrump clinic dating back to January 2012 when it was first proposed.

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a $12.1 million contract Wednesday to build a long-awaited new health care clinic for veterans in Pahrump.

The contract to W and J Development LLC — announced on the heels of VA Secretary Robert McDonald's visit Tuesday to Southern Nevada — comes three years after the VA solicited bids and as the Nye County community watched other modern veterans health outposts open 60 miles away in Las Vegas.

A date for groundbreaking has not been set. VA spokesman Richard Beam said the agency has committed the 9,948-square-foot clinic at Basin Avenue and Lola Lane near Desert View Hospital will be completed within 18 months, "and that clock starts today."

A full service medical center in North Las Vegas and four associated community clinics opened in the Las Vegas Valley in 2012. A community outpatient clinic in Laughlin opened last year.

"The nearly 6,000 veterans in Pahrump have earned the right to have access to the same VA healthcare as veterans living in Las Vegas do," said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The Pahrump facility will double the size of the current VA clinic housed in a 16-year-old modular building on East Calvada Boulevard that VA officials conceded was showing wear. About 2,500 veterans are enrolled for services at the site.

The new clinic will continue to provide primary care, mental health care, tele-medicine, social work services, radiology and lab services, according to VA spokesman Richard Beam. Reid in a fact sheet said some of the services will be expanded, as well as space added for pharmacy services.

"The benefit of the additional space will give us flexibility," Beam said. "You can't necessarily anticipate what needs the demographic will have but the space will allow us to meet needs quicker as they change."

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who sits on the Senate's veterans committee, said the new clinic "brings much-needed health care access to local veterans."
read more here

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Home From Afghanistan For Father's Day

National Guardsman marks end of Afghanistan deployment with surprise homecoming with family
Associated Press
Published June 20, 2015
In this Friday, June 19, 2015 photo, Nevada Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Glen Spadin gets hugs from his wife Maja, left, their daughter Rebecca, 2, and son Mark, 9, after his surprise return from Afghanistan during Patriot Night at the Reno Rodeo in Reno, Nev. Spadin returned after a year in Afghanistan to surprise his six children.
(AP Photo/Cathleen Allison) (The Associated Press)

RENO, Nev. – A Nevada National Guardsman has marked the end of a one-year deployment in Afghanistan with a surprise Father's Day weekend homecoming with his wife and six children at the Reno Rodeo.

Chief Warrant Officer Glen Spadin of Sparks, Nevada, was greeted by hugs from his son and five daughters during a Patriot Night ceremony Friday arranged by the rodeo, Nevada Army National Guard and his wife, Maja.

His children, who range in age from 6 months to 9 years, were not told about his arrival home beforehand. They were called to the arena floor along with their mother for the ceremony by the rodeo announcer.

Two rodeo officials on horseback then entered the arena, with the animals shielding Spadin, who was on foot. The children reacted with a mixture of shock and excitement when he suddenly emerged from behind the horses.

"Some of them cried, and some were running around and just kind of hugging and holding on to me," he said. "My son said it was like a dream."

A crowd of some 9,000 gave a standing ovation.
read more here

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Nevada Veterans Suicide Rate 74% Higher Than National Rate

Nevada’s veteran suicide rate remains staggering 
June 9, 2015

One Nevada veteran commits suicide about every three days.

The suicide rate for veterans in the Silver State has remained significantly high since the release of a 2012 report that was a “call to action” to address “an epidemic” evident in the staggering figures, according to a recent state followup on the issue.

Forty-seven veterans for every 100,0000 commit suicide in the state, compared to 23 people for every 100,000 in the general population, according to 2011-13 death records data in the new report.

“Revisiting an Epidemic: Suicide Mortality in Nevada’s Military Veterans, Service Members and Their Families” was produced by Luana J. Ritch, a quality assurance specialist with the state’s Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

Preliminary death records data for 2013 was included in the report. Preliminary data for 2014 is expected to become available in the fall, Ritch said.

“We still have a lot of issues,” Ritch said Tuesday. “There is a hesitancy to want to seek care… There’s just a lot that goes into these numbers.”

The number are not much different from those in the 2012 report. There were 320 veteran suicide deaths in the state from 2011 to 2013. That represents a decrease of 64 deaths from the previous period when there were 384 veteran suicide deaths from 2008 to 2010.

In 2012, the Nevada veteran suicide rate was 74 percent higher than the national rate of 12 deaths per 100,000. That statistic was not calculated in this year’s report, but the national rates have also increased in recent years.

“It still remains relatively high,” Ritch said of the Nevada rate.
read more here

Monday, December 8, 2014

Navy Cross Vietnam Veteran Turned Down by VA?

Vegas Navy Cross recipient shot down by VA benefits office
Las Vegas Review Journal
Keith Rogers
Posted December 6, 2014

Vietnam War veteran Steve Lowery has the scars, the medals and his Marine Corps medical records to prove he was wounded when his 12-man reconnaissance team was attacked on March 5, 1969.

“We were nearly wiped out and overcome,” said the Las Vegas resident, recounting the firefight in the darkness atop Hill 1308 that left three of his buddies dead and seven wounded including him.

One who was killed, Pfc. Robert H. Jenkins Jr., was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving Fred Ostrom’s life by shielding him from an exploding grenade. Others received Silver and Bronze Stars for their bravery.

Lowery, the team leader and a 1964 graduate of Rancho High School, was awarded the Navy Cross, the nation’s second highest valor award.

That makes him among the most highly decorated veterans from Las Vegas, but he doesn’t expect to be treated any differently than other veterans who have served their country honorably.

“I wear this on behalf of the other 11 who were with me,” he said last week about the Navy Cross, which has a citation that reads: “For extraordinary heroism … Corporal Lowery was seriously wounded in both legs by the intense enemy fire.

“Steadfastly remaining in his hazardous position, he boldly delivered accurate return fire and hurled grenades at the advancing enemy … killing several of the enemy and causing the others to retreat.”

Yet in the eyes of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the bullet from an AK-47 that ripped through his thighs and shrapnel from a “Chi-Com” — Chinese Communist — grenade that pierced his right knee were not related to his military service.

Nor was the neck injury he suffered near the end of his career when a moving van rear-ended his car when he was stopped at a light while on active duty in Hawaii.

That’s what the letter says from the VA Benefits Regional Office in Reno that rejected his claim for service-connected compensation.

“We determined that the following condition is not related to your military service,” reads the Aug. 1, 2011, letter from “A. Bittler,” veterans service center manager. “Gunshot wound to left thigh; neck condition; shrapnel, right knee; gunshot wound, right thigh.”
read more here

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nevada Soldier Reminded of Home Running in Afghanistan

Nevada soldier finds reminders of home in Afghanistan
Reno Gazette Journal
Guy Clifton
November 7, 2014

Once a week, Fred Dummar gathers with a group of fellow runners for a six-mile jaunt in the high desert.

They run a challenging loop with an elevation gain of 2,000 feet on top of the nearly 6,000 feet starting point and, at the end, every new runner gets a T-shirt and lifetime membership in the local running club.

The view is scenic, especially for a desert rat like Dummar, a native Nevadan, Gabbs High School and University of Nevada, Reno graduate.

"The landscape here is all Northern Nevada," he said via e-mail this week. "The melons look – and taste – like the Heart o' Gold cantaloupe from Fallon, and the same Indian paintbrush flowers that bloom in Gabbs Valley bloom on the hillsides (here)."

But Dummar is a long, long way from the Gabbs Valley -- roughly 7,000 miles, give or take a mountain range or two.

A colonel and career U.S. Army officer, Dummar carries the official title of "Commander, Special Operations Advisory Group for Afghan National Army Special Operations Command (Higher Headquarters) - NATO Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan.
read more here

Last month I went to this area and it is stunning but never would have thought it would be like Afghanistan. Learn something new everyday,

Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park, dedicated in 1935. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs. Popular activities include camping, hiking, picnicking and photography. The park offers a full-scale visitor center with extensive interpretive displays. Several group use areas are also available. The park is open all year. Valley of Fire State Park is six miles from Lake Mead and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Shooter shouted "revolution" gunning down police officers and woman

Source: Couple who killed 2 Las Vegas officers, 1 civilian held extremist views
By Saeed Ahmed and Kevin Conlon
Mon June 9, 2014

Witnesses: The shooters said 'This is a revolution'
Police search an apartment believed to be their home
"My officers were simply having lunch," says sheriff
A woman was also killed

The slain officers are Alyn Beck, 41, and Igor Soldo, 31. Both were married with children: Beck left behind a wife and three children; Soldo, a wife and a baby.
(CNN) -- A married couple yelling "revolution" gunned down two Las Vegas police officers at a pizza restaurant, then ran across the parking lot to a Walmart, where they killed a shopper at the store's entrance.

The duo's Sunday morning shooting rampage ended when the wife fatally shot the husband and then herself as police closed in.

A day later, police don't know -- or haven't disclosed -- the pair's motive. Witnesses told police the shooters said "This is a revolution" during their attack.

A law enforcement source told CNN the couple held extremist views toward law enforcement.

Late Sunday night, police -- black bands around their badges in mourning -- cordoned off the area outside an apartment in downtown Las Vegas. Neighbors say the couple lived there and that police had deployed a flash grenade at the home.

Authorities, however, deferred all questions to a news conference they have scheduled for 10 a.m. (1 p.m. ET).

"This was a senseless and cruel act killing three innocent people," said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman. "Two who dedicated their lives to protecting all of us in our community and one who was innocently going about her daily life."
read more here

Saturday, May 3, 2014

George Benson Webster, decorate Vietnam Veteran's remains found

Remains of Vietnam vet missing since 1980 found
Associated Press
Posted: May 01, 2014

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Northern Nevada sheriff's deputies are investigating the suspected murder of a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran whose remains were found in a septic tank near the Comstock mining town of Virginia City nearly 34 years after he disappeared.

Investigators said Thursday they traced the serial number on a medallion with the skeletal remains to identify George Benson Webster. The Sun Valley mechanic was 32 when his mother reported him missing in 1980.
read more here