Veterans advocate program stands out |

Veterans advocate program stands out

Capitol Bureau
Honored in Washington, D.C., at the opening of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs conference are, from left to right, Kat Miller, director of Nevada Department of Veterans Services; Tina Richardson, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency; Dr. Vito Imbasciani, secretary of Department of Veterans Affairs; Bob McDonald, Department of Veterans Affairs secretary; Lourdes E. Alvarado Ramos, director of Department of Veterans Affairs; and Lonnie Wangen, commissioner of North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.
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Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) was honored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a 2016 national recipient of the Abraham Lincoln Pillars of Excellence Award for best veterans services practices.

Four other states’ veterans departments also were singled out, but Nevada’s won most innovative state program for the Nevada Veterans Advocate (NVA)program.

Nevada Department of Veterans Services Director Kat Miller accepted the award on Feb. 22 during the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs conference in Washington, D.C.

NVA volunteers help connect veterans, service members, their families, and their survivors to benefits and services. The program is creating a statewide network of advocates, ensuring wherever a veteran lives, there’s someone who can help that veteran on the path to accessing needed benefits. NVA volunteers help support the work of Nevada’s Veteran Services Officers, who are challenged to support the almost 300,000 veterans who call Nevada home.

Any Nevada resident can enroll in the NVA Course online through the State of Nevada eLearning System, a public access portal. Twenty class modules provide answers to the most critical and the most common questions asked by veterans about benefits and opportunities.

Included in the course are modules about pensions and higher education, and other federal and state veterans benefits. Free face-to-face annual training conferences in Las Vegas and Reno are conducted by instructors from NDVS, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration, Veterans Health Administration, and the Veterans Home Loan Program.

“Some of our veterans choose to take the course not only to serve fellow veterans but to more fully understand the benefits and claims system for themselves,” said Miller.

“Non-veterans enrolled often cite their desire to help neighbors who have served the country and now may need help themselves.”

For information about the NVA program, go to