My Description of an Awesome Event That Took Place in October. 


Politics 101 –

By Dr. Tom Waters – Purple Heart Communities – 2017

Photos by Fe Waters

I’m talking about the events that took place in the Nye County Commissioners Chambers in Pahrump, Nevada, on October 17, 2017.  It was when the County of Nye AND the Town of Pahrump were granted this great honor of being named Purple Heart entities.  By being granted this distinction, Nye County became the first County in Nevada to be a Purple Heart County AND the Town of Pahrump became the first Town in Nevada to be a Purple Heart Town.  This occurred when the Nye County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) presented signed Proclamations to the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Commander, Dan Peterson, a retired US Army W-5 aviator.  Dan Peterson then declared Nye County and the Town of Pahrump to be Purple Heart entities.

Let’s discuss how this historic event began and who made it happen.

Before going into the background, let me say that this was a coordinated effort between: Pahrump veteran members of DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Chapter 15; VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Post 10054; MCL (Marine Corps League) Det. 1199; the American Legion; and the Henderson, Nevada, MOPH (Military Order of the Purple Heart) Chapter 730.

It actually started back in July 2017 when a DAV member, Cles Saunders (USMC Veteran) had the idea of special recognition for Purple Heart recipients and discussed, with Purple Heart recipient Dr. Tom Waters (a retired USAF Lt. Colonel), the possibility of a Purple Heart ceremony in Pahrump on Purple Heart Day, August 7th.  With that idea planted, the two of them contacted “Mr. Organizer extraordinaire” Jose Telles (a retired USMC First Sergeant) to work out the details and add the polish needed for such an event.

The Purple Heart ceremony went smoothly receiving praise and compliments from all observers.  The speakers were: Greg Cardarelli (DAV Chapter 15 Commander), Dr. Tom Waters, Dan Peterson (MOPH Chapter 730 Commander), Assemblyman James Oscarson (who presented the Proclamation for Purple Heart Day from Governor Sandoval), and former Commissioner Frank Carbone.  There was a “wreath” presentation by the DAV Auxiliary (DAVA Unit 15), and a Dog Tag presentation by veterans representing all service branches.

During the ceremony Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen (Chairman of the Nye County BoCC) presented Nye County Proclamations for Purple Heart Day to representatives of: DAV, VFW, MCL, and the Pahrump Veterans Advisory Committee.

The DAV Honor Guard, led by Ramiro Parocua, performed the flag ceremony.  The National Anthem was sung by Lola Parocua.  Tom Saitta (USAF Veteran) played “Taps” and even the Silver Tappers (as observers) were misty eyed during this solemn portion of the program.

When the ceremony ended, Dan Peterson, who recognized the close-knit veteran community who are supported by the Town residents and the County Commissioners, approached Tom Waters about the possibility of Pahrump becoming a Purple Heart Town.  Knowing that the criteria for Purple Heart designation requires an MOPH Chapter recommendation, Dan Peterson offered to allow his Chapter to sponsor Pahrump for this auspicious recognition.

Tom Waters approached Commissioner John Koenig and County Manager Pam Webster about placing it on the BoCC agenda so the commissioners could vote, and request through the MOPH, that Pahrump be designated a Purple Heart Town.  Commissioner Koenig asked if the same could be done for Nye County and Dan Peterson agreed … and the rest of this HISTORIC EVENT is history.

According to the MOPH website there are over 410 Purple Heart Counties, Cities, and Towns across the United States.

In the State of Nevada, the following cities have “earned” the distinction of being named a “Purple Heart City.”
The MOPH website lists the city of Henderson as the first in Nevada.
1. City of Henderson – January 13, 2014
2. City of Las Vegas – May 18, 2016
3. City of N. Las Vegas – May 18, 2016

4. City of Mesquite – September 13, 2016
5. City of Carson City – April 20, 2017

The State of Nevada earned the distinction on March 15, 2017,

And, the County of Nye and the Town of Pahrump on October 17, 2017.

As you can tell, I am quite pleased to write THIS article as we expand Pahrump’s and Nye County’s importance throughout the United States of America.

If you missed any of my earlier articles you can go to the Veterans Reporter News web page at <> to review any Back Issues.

I hear from MANY readers about my articles (most are positive) and I thank you for your positive or challenging “constructive” comments.  Feel free to contact me if you believe any of the information provided is inaccurate or if you have additional information that I can share with our readers.

By: Thomas (Tom) Waters, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Ret), Ed.D. /