For the first time in four years, veterans convened Wednesday at the Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records building to be recognized for their service to their country. They also recognized a comrade who died last year.
The Nevada National Guard and Nevada Department of Veterans Services sponsored Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature. It was canceled in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"First of all, it is the right thing to do to never forget and always remember those who served or continue to serve,” said Maj. Gen. Ondra Berry, Nevada adjutant general. “You can’t have a great country without your veterans. The history of America begins and continues because of the military. Today is one of those moments in time we step aside and say ‘thank you for your service.’ It brings pride back to those who served and that it meant something.”
Although it was a time for veterans to network and see old friends, the veteran community remembered Anthony “Tony” Yarbrough.
Gov. Joe Lombardo, who served in the U.S. Army, Nevada Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, signed a proclamation that was read by Fred Wagar, director of the Nevada Department of Veterans Services.
Tony Yarbrough’s son, Mark, and his wife accompanied the governor to a table where he signed the proclamation.
Wagar said Yarbrough served in the U.S. Navy and achieved the rank of chief petty officer before retiring. Wagar said Yarbrough founded the United Veterans Legislative Council to serve his fellow veterans and families.
Furthermore, Wagar said, Yarbrough ensured veterans and military families had a strong, unified voice at the Legislature.
Before signing the proclamation, Lombardo recognized Yarbrough in his opening remarks.
“For those who had the benefit of knowing Tony, he was the founder of the United Veterans Legislative Council or ULVC,” Lombardo said. “This year for the first time in a decade, Tony will not be part of the legislative council.”
Lombardo recognized Andy LePeilbet, a Vietnam War veteran, who is leading the UVLC during this legislative session.
The governor also acknowledged March as Women’s History Month and the contributions made by women in the military. He then noted this year is the 50th anniversary of when combat operations began to wind down in Vietnam.
Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro and Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager offered introductory remarks.
Cannizzaro, who is the first female Senate leader in the history of the Legislature, represents a district in northwest Las Vegas. She said it was humbling to speak before the veterans and military community, and she said it was important to support veterans.
Yeager, also from Las Vegas, said he comes from a military family. His grandfather served during World War II and received the Purple Heart, his stepfather is a Vietnam War veteran, and a brother recently retired from the Marine Corps as a major.
“We are blessed that in our state, Nevada lawmakers have a very strong track record of supporting our veterans and military communities,” he said.
Veterans groups set up tables to distribute information on their programs and the NDVS also recognized Veterans of the Month and Veterans Supporters of the Month.
• Veteran of the Month, David Arroues, U.S. Navy
• Veteran of the Month, George Malone, U.S. Marine Corps
• Veteran of the Month, Susan Malone, U.S. Marine Corps
• Veteran Supporter of the Month, Jennifer Parlane, volunteer at the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home in Sparks.
• Veteran Supporter of the Month, Nancy Grey, volunteer at the Veterans Guest House in Reno.
• Veteran Supporter of the Month, Tom Zogorski, volunteer for veteran organization Welcome All Veterans Everywhere in Douglas County.
• Veteran Supporter of the Month, Bees4Vets, nonprofit that provides beekeeping training for Northern Nevada veterans or first responders diagnosed with PTSD or traumatic brain injury.
• Youth Serving Veterans Award, A’Laya Washington, volunteer for various organizations.
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