By Barbara Rodgick
On the third Friday of every month from 1-12:3 pm, the PBS offices on Flamingo in Las Vegas hosts a free coffee and conversation with veterans, their families and their supporters. Participants are asked to register in advance and submit their ideas for discussion topics. This month’s topics included:
- transition issues and re-adjustment counseling
- what is the most effective way for service organizations to reach female veterans
- support groups for female veterans and their unique transition issues
- proposed legislation on veteran issues for the next Nevada State Legislature
- actions that established veteran service organizations can take to reach out to recent veterans.
Representatives from Senator Dean Heller’s and Representative Dina Titus’s offices were present to answer questions and provide assistance. District 1 Representative Pat Spearman was also present. Ms. Spearman made a very passionate argument for raising wages for our soldiers, increasing services to military families and the importance of participating in the electoral and legislative process. Representative Spearman also pointed out that the government often appropriates money for military missions without setting aside money to cover the human costs such as hospitals, doctors and family services. She feels that privatizing the VA (an agency that most vets are happy with) would be a costly mistake.
The meeting ended with the presentation of Vietnam War Commemorative coins to all veterans who had not received one previously. The next coffee and conversation will be on June 15th. This may be the last meeting unless additional resources are found to continue the project.