Courage, honor and sacrifice are three words that first come to mind whenever I think about our military service members. Each time I have the opportunity to be in the presence of those who have served our country, I am humbled knowing that they put their lives on the line to protect all that we hold sacred. Our veterans - who put service and self-sacrifice above all - deserve our utmost admiration and thanks.
As governor, paying homage to our veterans is a privilege and honor I hold very close. From attending deployment and demobilization ceremonies to visiting our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, I want each and every member of our armed forces to know how much we respect and appreciate their service.
Recently, I've had the opportunity to attend several veteran events, all of which have given me a new perspective on the service of our men and women. Two weeks ago at the Capitol, I had the pleasure of recognizing one of our state's incredible public servants, Walter Wayne Wilson, as October's Veteran of the Month. Mr. Wilson exemplifies what is at the heart of the Veteran of the Month award and deserves our thanks for his dedication and sacrifice. Serving 43 years in the National Guard, Mr. Wilson continues to be an active member of Nevada's veteran community while also demonstrating the core values of the Nevada Office of Veteran's Services (NOVS) - professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and empathy.
To begin Nevada Day weekend, I joined Mayor Bob Crowell at the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at Mills Park. There, we were privileged to hear veterans' stories and mourn with them the loss of their comrades. On Saturday, the 27th, my family and I were honored to ride in Carson City's Nevada Day Parade in a humvee with SPC.
David Bridges, a member of the Nevada National Guard who recently returned from Afghanistan. SPC Bridges is a shining example of the bravery and dedication our Nevada National Guard shows both on the battlefield and in our state. We are forever grateful for their service.
Our military men and women face challenges when they return home and we must continue to support them as they transition back to civilian life. This is why I created the Governor's Interagency Council on Veterans Affairs to provide the best level of service we can to our veterans. The Council, led by the Nevada Office of Veteran's Services, has already begun its work to identify and prioritize the needs of Nevada's veterans and increase the coordination of state government's efforts to meet veterans' needs as they return home. We must and we will continue our work to provide these important and necessary services for our servicemen and women.
When duty calls, the men and women of our Armed Forces step forward to serve with dignity - each and every time. As we approach Veterans Day, I encourage all Nevadans to take a moment to thank a veteran. Saying thank you to a veteran may not take much time, but the impact lasts much longer.
Nevada's veterans are the best we can be. May God Bless them and their families. All Nevada!
• Gov. Brian Sandoval can be reached through his website, gov.nv.gov.