Dayton veteran honored for his service
Dayton veteran was honored Friday morning as Gov. Brian Sandoval’s Veteran of the Month.
Donald Podlas, an occupational forces Marine Corps officer in the Korean War, was honored with the Veteran of the Month award for his service in the community in a ceremony at the St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Dayton. The VOM award was established in 2011 for servicemen and women who went above and beyond the call of duty outside of military service.
“It is not just about honorable service but the service they do after to support those in active duty, (give) support to veterans and support to the broader community,” said Kat Miller, director of Nevada Department of Veteran Services.
“We want to recognize the service of those who did serve our country and continue to serve in other capacities and that is what Don does.”
Podlas is an active member in the Dayton and Carson City communities: he was a firefighter in the Los Angeles area for 20 years, participating as Chaplain for the Marine Corps League for 28 years, is active with the Toys for Tots charity, helps families in need during the holidays and drives his military Jeep in parades all over Northern Nevada, including in the Nevada Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day parades.
“He is an amazing person and a tremendous benefit to the community,” Miller said.
Podlas was joined Friday by his wife of 54 years, Marie, his fellow Marine Corps League members and members of the St. Ann Church. Miller and Podlas’s nominator Nick Lazzarino, spoke about what a great asset Podlas is to the community. Then, the former Marine was presented with his framed award and a lapel pin by Ron Gutzmann, a member of the Nevada Veteran Service Commission
“Wow,” Podlas said. “I feel humbled and so appreciative. I like what I am doing and I am going to keep on doing it. I love our country, we live in America the greatest country. I love the Marine Corps. Thank you so much.
“This was just pretty awesome it was a great turn out and I had a lot of friends turn out.”