The small room was packed to the gills with veterans from across the state, all there as part of Veterans and Military Day at the Nevada Legislature.
Gov. Brian Sandoval talked to the standing-room-only crowd, veterans piling into the wings, about the state’s effort this legislative session to aid veterans.
“I’m going to give credit to the first lady of the United States,” Sandoval said, referring to “an executive order providing reciprocity to military spouses seeking licensure in the state of Nevada. They come here,” and he was interrupted by applause. “It’s important they have some stability when they come here with their loved ones.”
In addition, Sandoval talked about Assembly Bill 58, which would elevate the Office of Veterans Services to a cabinet-level department within the state government.
“I want to bring veterans’ issues to a cabinet-level agency,” he said, in addition to the creation of the Governor’s Office of Veterans Policy and Coordination.
Mayor Bob Crowell, a veteran himself, also addressed the group, holding back his emotions.
“To each and every one of you, welcome home,” he said.
Crowell also shared a personal anecdote of when the Vietnam Memorial Wall came to Carson City and the governor greeted the veterans at the personal ceremony.
“Sometimes, this tears me up, but I will say when a lot of us came home, in those days, it was Vietnam days. You came home to kind of an ungrateful nation.
“Who personally showed up was Governor Sandoval … It was a big deal to have the governor of the state walk up ... at a personal ceremony to a lot of us, to know, I’m the governor of the state of Nevada, and I’m with you guys, I’m with you folks, and the state of Nevada is with you as well. That’s a big deal, folks.”
Assemblyman Elliot Anderson, a retired Marines machine gunner, spoke to the group about issues facing the Legislature. The community, he argued, needs to be able to absorb the members of the military returning from war and service.
Anderson said he is working toward ensuring in-state tuition rates for returning vets.
“The state is doing really good things,” he said.
March 21, 2013: In the third paragraph, Governor Sandoval was referring to an executive order granting reciprocity to military spouses seeking licensure.