Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Welcome Home Event for OIF and OEF Veterans

The Southern Nevada Healthcare system ( or Las Vegas VA) is hosting a Welcome Home event for Veterans of OIF and OEF This month.

When: May 16th, 2008

From: 09.00 to 17.00 hours

At: The Texas Station Casino
2101 Texas Star Lane
Las Vegas Nv 89032

In: The Dallas Ballroom

The Program will include:

VA benefits
VA Health Care
Job opportunities
Educational Opportunities
Housing and mortgage information

Light refreshments and beverages will be served.

For more information contact Cathine Sines at (702) 636-3000 Ext.4525

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spaghetti and Meatball Fundraiser to benefit the Blinded Veterans Assosciation

The Nevada Silver State Regional Group of Blinded Veterans Assosciation are running their first annual fundraiser!

They are having a Spaghetti and meatball dinner at THE MARVELOUS, an Italian - American Supper club on Friday, May 30th 2008

The marvelous is located at:
2333 E. Sahara Ave (near Eastern Blvd)
The evening kicks off at 5 pm with a social hour and a no host bar, then dinner follows at 6pm.

Music is provided by Keith Jorgensen Music Center.

Theer is a requested donation of $15 per person, the donation will go towards locating Blinded veterans who need service and providing role models who can demostrate that the challenges of blindness can be successfully overcome.

See you there!

Unserviceable Flag Retirement Ceremony and Luncheon

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Valley of Fire Chapter are holding a unserviceable Flag Retirement ceremony and Lucheon on
Saturday, May 3rd 2008 at 10.00 am

The ceremony will be held at the Southern Nevada Veterans Cemetary in Boulder city.
All are welcome to attend!

Reno VA wish list for April

The Reno VA wish list has bot changed much over the last couple of months. However they are requesting donations of season specific clothing, summer clothing and these requested items:

Personal Hygiene Items
Nail Brushes
Nail clippers
Emory boards etc


Sugar alternatives

Misc. Items
Socks (all sizes)
Underwear ( all sizes)

They also have a special request for prizes to give to volunteers who will be honored at the annual awards banquet. I have taken care of this request already however if you wish to donate gift cards for local restaurants or floral arrangements I am sure they would be gladly accepted.

Send all donations to :
Voluntary services
1000 Locust Street
Reno NV

Please make all checks payable to "agent cashier and mark in the memo space what you want the funds used for. For example "Beverages for Veterans" Also please include a note that you are part of Soldiers Angels so that SA can be "Credited" the donation from the VA.

Thank you for your support of this awesome

Las Vegas VA wishlist for April

Hot Needs:

Summer clothing
sun screen
Drinking Water (bottled) For CBOC and Geriatrics


Phone cards, Funds for bus passes, gas vouchers and money orders to Obtain DMV ID's.


20 sets of Hand weights ( approx costs $12 per set)
30 sets of Wrists weights (Approx $10 per set)
50 sets of sweat bands
30 Arthritis Assosciation Excercise DVD's ( approx cost (15 per DVD)
10 Community gym Memberships
5 Excercise head phones and radio or MP3's ( approx cost $25-$300 each)
20 Clothing certificates ( approx cost ($30-$50 each)
300 Calorie king books (Aprrox $7 each book)
1000 Stickers (approx cost $24)

The special needs list is to support the brand new Healthy Veterans program called MOVE. The program is so new that the need for items is holding up classes being held due to lack of equipment.

If you can help with any of these items or wish to donate funds to support these projectssend direct to the VA at:

Voluntary services
South West clinic
3880 S. Jones Blvd Suite 2300
Las Vegas NV

Checks should be made payable to "agent cashier" and in the memo section mark what you want the funds to be used for. For example 1 set wrist weights. Please include a note that you are a Soldiers' Angel so that SA receieve "credit" for your donation from the VA.

Thank you.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Guidelines for Listening to War Veterans

by Al Siebert, Ph.D., Director of The Resiliency Center
author of The Resiliency Advantage
The main problem for many war veterans and survivors of torturous experiences is not what they went through. Their problem is that very few people have the emotional strength to listen to them talk about what they went through. The poor relationships that survivors often have with spouses, children, relatives, neighbors, employers, and co-workers are not merely a result of delayed reactions to stress. The feelings of isolation and poor relationships with others are, in part, from having bad experiences with people who are poor listeners.

Pictures of the war in Iraq did not show the gruesome carnage caused by the bombing. "Most people would go weird," one combat veteran says, "when they hear about what I saw."

People who have survived highly distressing experiences will usually talk with a good listener who will take time to hear the whole story. If you are willing to listen to someone speak truthfully about all their experiences, here are useful guidelines to follow:

Don't ask about a person's experiences unless you can handle honest answers. When Vietnam combat veterans returned home they found that very few people had the emotional strength to listen to their stories. Don't open someone up and then "chicken out" when the story gets too rough. Tell yourself that a reasonably strong human being ought to be able to at least listen to what another person has lived through. Survivors of horrifying experiences will usually talk to a person who has the courage to listen.

Give the person lots of time. Vietnam veterans found that the average person could listen for only several minutes. When a veteran is willing to talk to you, it is important to allow him or her plenty of time to talk. Don't interrupt to state your feelings about the war. This is not a time for discussion! Plan to listen for hours. Expect to have some follow-up sessions. When people open themselves up to relive strong emotional experiences, additional details and feelings may flood into their minds in the days that follow. It is typical for combat veterans to have nightmares and periods of emotional turmoil.

Be an active listener. Ask for details. Ask about feelings. Ask questions when you feel puzzled about facts or incidents.

Remain quiet if he or she starts crying. It may help to touch or hold the person if it feels right to both of you. Don't tell the person to not feel what he's feeling. Don't suggest a better way to look at it. Leave his or her thoughts and feelings alone. Your quiet presence is more useful than anything else you can do.

Listen with empathy, but minimize sympathy. It is easier for combat veterans to reveal what they went through if they don't have to put up with sympathy. ("What a horrible experience! You poor man!") Survivors of horrible experiences talk more easily to a person with calm concern. Control your imagination and resist letting their feelings become your feelings. Don't make the veteran have to handle your emotional reactions as well as his or her own. If you need emotional support, seek it elsewhere.

Ask if he or she sees anything positive about being in combat. It is not accurate to think of most war veterans as having a post-traumatic stress disorder. Some do. The majority do not. Research shows that many who served in Vietnam became significantly more mature and developed a healthy personal identity. The same extreme circumstances that cause emotional trauma for some people cause others to become stronger.


Al Siebert has studied highly resilient survivors for over thirty years. He is author of the new book The Resiliency Advantage: Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure and Bounce Back From Setbacks, andThe Survivor Personality: Why Some People Are Stronger, Smarter, and More Skillful at Handling Life's Difficulties...and How You Can Be, Too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We met the Thunderbirds helping Veterans!

The VA team really stuck gold this time. We had been trying to visit the VA hosiptal on Nellis Air Force Base for a while as you can imagine security is tight, but a good friend of the VA team sponsored us on base. We got to meet so many wonderful veterans Who were so excited that they had not just one vistor but three! Thw VA team arranged for Gina, from pin ups for vets to come along too, as we think she's lots of fun. The veterans loved her too. They also loved her calendar! Soldiers' Angels provided a vet pack for each of the veterans staying at the hospital and for the injured active miliatary service members. They were all thrilled! After our visit to the hospital , our contact Pamela Robinson, had arrqanged a very special suprise for us. A visit to the home of the Thunderbirds. We had a private tour around the museum, and then we were taken into the hanger to see the Thunderbirds! And after that we got to see the "perch" the very exclusive, not to be seen by the public, private Thunderbird bar. It was seriously cool!

Thank you Pamela for arranging the visit we really enjoyed our visit!

Soldiers Angels Visit the Armory

The VA tean got invited to host a booth at the "In celebration of women in the Military" event. We went and gave out information about Soldiers' Angels, the VA team and talked to spouses of deployed service men and women. It was a fun day for all. And we are looking forward to next year!

A photo of the the Nevada Armory building

A photo of the Soldiers' Angels booth

Another photo of our booth and our poster boards explaining some of the Soldiers' Angels programs

Soldiers'Angels Jody S. and Lou K. Talking to a deployed servicemans wife. We have signed her husband up for much needed support and we offered the wife some too!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Soldiers' Angels Partners with The Catholic War Veterans

Soldiers angels and the Catholic War veterans came together to help local deployed airmen get adopted. Soldiers' Angels and the Catholic War Veterans have been working together on a few projects recently including the VA food pantry which they maintain and deliver to veterans in need.

On this night both Felicia Gaines and Lou Kastendick went to speak to the Catholic war veterans about Soldiers' Angels adn introduced ourselves adn the Soldiers' Angels programs to them. And then we met with the Ladies auxillary. The ladies wanted to adopt a group of service people for the duration of their deployemnt overseas. Soldiers' Angels arranged for them to "unofficially adopt" a group of 12 airmen currently deployed in the middle east. We know these men and women will be well cared for by this group.

A huge Thank you to Jim and Kelly M. From Catholic War Veterans for allowing us to come talk to your group. We look forward to working with you on many more veterans projects.

Las Vegas Angels help hungry Veterans.

It came to our attention a few weeks ago that the VA food pantry was running low on supplies so the Vegas angels have been helping keep the pantry stocked. The food is donated by individuals and organizations such as Soldiers' Angels. It helped struggling veterans get food that they might have to go without if the pantry wasn't avaialble. When a veteran lets the Va know they have no money for food, they give a call to the pantry and a whole months worth of food is delivered. Too many veterans here in Nevada this is a real lifeline.

A special Thank you to Soldiers Angels for the latest donation and a huge Thank you for Lizz P. For helping me do the neccessary shopping to help the Vegas veterans.

The back of my car full of goodies for Vegas veterans.
Close up of all the good and healthy food for veterans.
The donation of food after being transferred to bigger vehicle!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The first 100 Rub-a-dub-dub back packs were stuffed and delivered last week. Each back pack contained a blonaket of hope, personal hygiene items, clothing, cereal bars and cards and messages of support.

The first 100 back packs were donated to women veterans of Nevada, they were a huge success. The oldest female veteran in Nevada (at a sprightly 92 years old!) was so thrilled with her back pack she kept asking if it was for her!

The next round of Rub-a-dub-dub back packs will be ready by April 30th 2008 for the Las Vegas stand down. We are still in need of many items, especially toothbrushes, shampoo and soft soap. If you can help with any of these items email us direct at VACTLNV@gmail.com

A huge thank you to Patti Bader from Soldier's Angels for the donation of the camo back packs the veterans are loving them!


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Volunteers needed for the Boulder City Retirement Home

It has come to my attention that the Boulder City Veterans retirement home in Nevada is in desparate need of volunteers to help out with various activites. Current Positions available are:

Breakfast, lunch and dinner serving assistance
Friday Mornings Coffee socials (at 9.00am -10.30 am)
1st Friday of the month Bingo! (1.30-3.30pm)
Gift shop volunteers
Chapel Volunteers
Day trip outing volunteers

The list goes on...............

If you would like to help out please email me direct at VACTLNV @ GMAIL.COM
so that I can send you out the application. There is a required background check and fingerprints will need to be taken, also a TB test, however there is no charge for any of these things for the volunteer. ALso please note that Reggy R. is the team leader for this for the angels who volunteer and there is a 6 month commitment requirement.

Thank you so much for helping Nevada's Veterans it is appreciated more than you know.