Caleb S. Cage: There’s much left to do for our veterans in ’13
A few months ago I wrote about the year ahead for veterans services in Nevada. Entering June, I am proud to tell you that a lot has been accomplished, and more is in the works.
The 77th session of the Legislature has been all-consuming, but it has been successful. In addition to our legislative summits and symposia, we partnered with the Military Department to host Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature, which was one of the best veteran events I have been part of. I look forward to writing about how the veteran community fared with respect to legislation this session.
We have hosted events statewide, often with our community and veteran partners. The most significant was Memorial Day, which was celebrated at a high level statewide. I am proud to say that we received praise for how our facilities looked and how well the events went. We take these events very seriously.
All this has been in addition to our operations at the Veterans Memorial cemeteries and the Nevada State Veterans Home, through our Veterans Advocacy and Support Teams, and others. Our cemeteries have received millions of dollars in grants, received an award for the excellence of appearance of the grounds, and continued to provide the highest level of services to veterans and family members. The VA has recognized the Veterans Home for providing the highest level of care. We have added two additional veteran services officers to our VAST team and expanded our reach into rural Nevada.
Late last year we extended our Women Veterans Program, which used to be helmed by our deputy director but is now managed by a specific manager. We had our first women veterans event in Henderson this year and are holding our next in Reno this month.
There is a lot more for us to do. We have to implement legislation that was just passed; prepare to honor our veterans at our regular events; and continue to try to be innovative with our other initiatives.
One of those is the Green Zone Initiative. It’s aimed at creating an opportunity to collaborate among service organizations, service providers, and veterans at every level throughout our state. We launch the entire effort Aug. 14 in Las Vegas.
Caleb S. Cage is the executive director of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services, appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval. You can read his blog at http://veterans.nv.gov/blog.