The gathering behind the Capitol building with Nevada’s active military troops, veterans, and government was a heartfelt morning for many as Gov. Brian Sandoval endorsed three bills, along with major praise of two veterans.
The signing of Assembly Bill 24, and Senate bills 58 and 70, depicted a pure way to celebrate Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature on Wednesday morning, as each bill supports statewide military communities and families.
AB24 supports school tuition for active duty and veteran families; SB58 expands educational resources to military students and female veterans; and SB70 preserves tokens from families at veteran memorials and cemeteries.
“Most of you are thinking, ‘why hasn’t this been done?’” Sandoval said. “It makes me the proudest governor in the country to celebrate and honor our Battle Born history, and to have Nevada serve its veterans as they served for us.”
Prior to the declaration of each bill’s endorsements, former U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. John Louritt was named Veteran of the Month. He also served as detective at South Lake Tahoe Police Department for 32 years, along with other community involvement such as the Senior Services Advisory Council, Douglas County School Board, and the Elks Club.
Honor Flight Nevada also received Veteran Supporter of the Month award.
“I didn’t expect to see so many people,” Louritt said. “I also work with veterans in Douglas County and to be awarded for this is above and beyond.”
But for Vietnam veteran Richard Moyer, the recognition for his service during the Vietnam War uplifted him with tears of grace and pride.
He received a Bronze Medal with a “V” device for valor; when Moyer’s station was attacked in Vietnam by platoon-sized enemy forces 30 years ago, he was injured in the beginning of the engagement.
However, that didn’t hinder Moyer from helping other injured soldiers to immediate medical assistance.
Moyer’s act also earned him three Purple Hearts, an Army Commendation for Valor and Heroism, and another Bronze Star for Meritorious Service in the past.
His wife, Patricia, stood by his side as he received his award.
“It’s impressive to be here and pretty emotional,” Moyer said. “My family is here. My brother also is a Vietnam veteran.”
Sandoval also announced another item he’s continued to fight for, as disclosed in his State of the State address in January: the construction of another Nevada State Veterans Home, in Northern Nevada.
Sandoval said he requested more than $43 million to begin construction July 17, and the home is expected to be finished by late winter 2019. The home also will serve as a community center for meetings and events, as a way to further honor veterans, he said.
This year’s Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature also was attended by Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, Mayor Bob Crowell, Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, and many others.
“We’re a citizens legislature,” Frierson said. “Our veterans and active service deserve our upmost praise not just today, but every day.”
Along with supporting military vendors and lunch on the legislative grounds, proclamations honoring “Nevada’s Fallen” were held in remembrance inside Senate and Assembly Chambers.