By: Terence Way and Megan Way | Photos by Lawrence Oravetz, Terence Way, Bob Reed, John Diaz and Barry Moore
On a sunny day in April, a Nevada Veteran of the Month recognition ceremony took place at the Grant Sawyer building in Las Vegas. One could tell that this might not have been a typical event with the extra chairs that had to be brought out. And even then, it was standing room only the event became record-holder for the largest crowd ever at a Veteran and Veteran Supporter of the Month event. To top it all off, Governor Steve Sisolak came down from Carson City to present the awards to the recipients!
Councilman Richard Cherchio, Councilman Steven Horseford, Representatives from Senator Cortez Masto and Congresswoman Susie Lee’s offices were also on hand to offer their congratulations and present their certificates. Also present were friends, family, colleagues of the honorees, and past honorees of the Nevada Veteran of the Month.
Veteran Supporter of the Month AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) was honored for their new fraud prevention programs aimed at educating veterans who can be a main target for fraud and identity theft. AARP has also created “Prepare to Care”, resource guide for families or caregivers. Veteran of the Month Terry Estabrook was also honored for many years of service with the Army and National Guard. Throughout his service he has done over 100 parachuting jumps from aircraft as a parachute rigger. Since his retirement, he has also volunteered his time and money for countless veteran events such as placing flags on Memorial Day.
But this was special for one additional reason. Amongst the honorees was our Su Phelps, Publisher and Owner of Veterans Reporter News, recognized for her years of help and support within the veteran community. Since 2013, Su and Veterans Reporter News has immortalized historical and precious moments in their organizations for the Southern Nevadan veterans and the local community. She has worked with the Clark County Fire Department and local Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Henderson Police Department.
Governor Sisolak was gracious in his remarks and generous with his time. He stayed on afterwards for additional photos and questions. Seeing the photo ops between the Governor, her daughter-in-law Rise Hsia, and her grand-daughter Lillianna, it was likely a fantastic April day at the Grant Sawyer Building.
After asking for a moment of silence in honor of her friend Rod Carlone, a humble Su Phelps gave a speech thanking not just her staff, but the whole veteran community in their help over the years in covering events in Southern Nevada. Along with the growth from once a month into being published twice a month, this award was a testament to the synergy between the advertisers, veteran communities, and her staff. It was also a part of a promise to her late husband Chief Master Sergeant Eugene Phelps, to help carry on his family name with dignity and honor. She says,
“By reporting for Veterans Reporter News it’s given me the opportunity to understand the real true Americanism and realized how fortunate I am to be in this country and a citizen of the United States of America.”
“Through Veterans Reporter News, this is how I say thank you to the United States of America and also fulfill my commitment to my late husband Chief Master Sergeant Mr. Phelps before he passed away due to lung cancer from “Agent Orange”. I promised two things to him before he passed.”
“One, I will never change my last name. Two, I make the name “Phelps” proud. Veterans Reporter News and the Veterans community have helped me fulfill the second promise. I’m looking forward to keep working closely with everyone in our community, in every way I can to help promote patriotism.”
“If Veterans Reporter News is a balloon, the community surrounding us is the air. Today I’m proud that we all work together to achieve this pride. It is this community that puts the balloon in the air, and I can’t thank you enough for all your hard-work and sincerity. Today this award is the reflection of all our veteran’s community’s togetherness and this award belongs to you all. Thank you all so much and God bless America and our soldiers.”