U.S. Marine veteran Bruno Moya leads 1,500 student veterans at the University of Nevada Las Vegas as president of the Rebels Veterans Organization, but working toward his Degree in Psychology, he focuses best on one Las Vegas vet at a time.
Moya was honored by Nevada Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison and Nevada Department of Veteran Services Deputy Director Kathleen Dussault.
This month’s Nevada Veteran of the Month also volunteers at the UNLV Vet Center and in the PAVE program (Peer Advising for Veterans Education). Moya believes there is great value in working closely with returning veterans who seek guidance in their choice of studies, while navigating a complex civilian world.
“We work with vets to link them up with available resources and information outside of the University,” Moya said. “The issues can range from needing a month’s rent covered, paperwork issues, legal assistance, benefit packages for their education, and helping them manage extenuating circumstances.
“One vet was having a tough time transitioning,” he recalled. “He was getting divorced and failing his classes. I helped him write a letter to his instructors.”
The veteran salvaged his classes and got himself back on track.
“I facilitate to get veterans out of a crisis,” he added, “and help them graduate.”
The Texas native, who has called Las Vegas home since age six, shipped out with the U.S. Marine Corps 15 days after graduation from Clark High School. Assigned to a reserve unit in Las Vegas, Fox Co. 2nd Battalion 23rd Marines, his battalion was activated in the weeks following 9/11. Deployed in Kuwait in 2003 and part of the Iraq invasion, he also served three years as a Marine Combat Instructor.
His community service activities and public policy passion lead to an invitation to President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address. He also served as chairman to Sen. Dean Heller’s Veterans Advisory Committee in 2015.
While there are many community needs for a dedicated social worker, Bruno believes that veterans will always be a part of his public service focus.