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Chuck N. Baker

USO helps military as they travel, return to civilian life

The general public knows the combination of letters “USO.” Many even know the type of work the USO is involved in. But if one were to ask those individuals what the letters stand for, and where the organization is located in Southern Nevada, the answer might just involve a blank stare unless the person being questioned is involved with the local military or veterans community.

Honor Flight offers awe-inspiring experience

Many individuals, especially those who follow issues concerning veterans, have more than likely heard of the Honor Flight Network. The mission of the group is to honor select veterans, especially those who served in World War II, by taking them on all-expense-paid excursions to Washington, D.C., to visit military memorials.

Nevada celebrates veterans’ achievements

Southern Nevada resident and former Army Sgt. Richard “Dick” L. Moyer was presented with a Bronze Star Medal with a “V” for valor this month for his heroic efforts during the Vietnam War.

WWII vet fights second battle of Tarawa

Last month I began to tell the story of Leon Cooper, a World War II veteran who took part in the bloody battle of Tarawa. A California resident, in 2008 he paid a visit to the Pacific island and said he could not believe his eyes. The sunny beach that in 1943 had been turned into a battlefield had deteriorated into something else again — a combination junkyard and burial ground.

Work underway to improve services for veterans

Hospitals and clinics operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have come under immense scrutiny in recent years. Some facilities have been found to be deficient in treatment of veterans, and politicians from both sides of the aisle have taken officials to task.

Job opportunities flow out of Indian Springs

There are many agencies that offer the promise of employment to veterans. While few, if any, offer high-paying, executive level positions, they are often good starting points for newly minted veterans and part-time National Guard members and reservists. One site I suggest is sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and can be accessed at VetJobs.com.

Governor catches eye of columnist

For 20 years, California’s Bakersfield Business Conference was a gem of a gathering in the Golden State, produced by the law firm of Borton Petrini LLP. Top business executives, American politicians, military spokesmen and veterans, plus world leaders, gave speeches at the all-day event on the campus of California State University, Bakersfield. I covered the event for its past six or seven years. When the two-decade anniversary was reached, the event was retired. Except the fans wouldn’t let it die.

Homelessness decreases among veterans

In my eyes, the U.S. homeless population has seemingly grown during the past few years. I don’t claim to have a scientific poll to back up that statement. I base it on visual impact.

Help for veterans comes in surprising places

There are many major and minor veterans organizations locally and nationally that provide thousands of hours of pro bono service and invest millions of dollars in time and treasure to help veterans and their families. Groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans have been collectively helping veterans for hundreds of years.

Aviation Nation returns

Good news for Air Force veterans and aviation fans in general. After abandoning what had become a favorite annual event in Nevada, Nellis Air Force Base will again host Aviation Nation.

Military discounts at airports a welcome surprise

Frequent flyers have to be upset with the long lines at the TSA inspection gates. Even occasional flyers are likely frustrated with the slow, laborious process of getting checked in at major airports.

Education issues challenge veterans

“Readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmatic” used to be a mantra when it came to educating veterans and others. But today when it comes to educating veterans, and veterans educating others, the challenges regarding funding and adequate personnel are much more complicated.

Records bring back the sounds of Vietnam

When I lived in the Golden State years ago, the L.A. Weekly newspaper published several freelance articles of mine. Those articles notwithstanding, the publication remains one of the best alternative weekly newspapers in the nation.

Oxygen therapy may offer alternative treatment

The Veterans Administration treats patients using traditional, standard and long-established medical practices. As science progresses, the VA does move forward, albeit slower than some would like.

Veterans strive to help each other

As we move through life there are often many individuals who provide help to each of us. George Littlefield was an Army veteran during the Vietnam era, stationed in the U.S. He was assigned to Army intelligence, and I didn't get to know him until...

Start of new year brings issues to forefront

There are many things to discuss before we get too far into 2016. Some facts to consider: Daylight is already staying around a bit longer. (Well, just for a second or two to start.) And the world seems as if it's on the brink of war again. I'm...

Employment after military career can be tricky

Leaving the military to return to civilian life can be a welcoming experience. Still, there will be rules and regulations to follow in society, and sleeping late will be a luxury unless one is independently wealthy. One must contend with the IRS,...

Ordnance veterans are dynamite

According to published reports, the world's first professional civilian bomb squad was established by Sir Vivian Dering Majendie of the Royal Artillery in 1874. The following year he framed modern legislation for explosives control, and he is...

Veterans awarded for post-military work

The Nevada Department of Veterans Services headquartered in Reno (with offices throughout the state) oversees several programs for veterans that are exclusive to Nevada. Examples include select veterans license plates, reduction of property taxes...

Multiple programs assist home buyers

The portion of the GI Bill that allows veterans to obtain home-loan guarantees through the Department of Veterans Affairs continues to be one of the best opportunities for them to buy homes. I can attest to that. Many years ago I took advantage of...

Soldiers partner with doctors to battle blindness

Last month, I reported on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs teaming up with the Blinded Veterans Association, other government agencies and medical experts in Denver to discuss traumatic brain injuries and their affect on blindness. Several individuals discussed work being done to help veterans who sustained severe head wounds, which can often lead to a decrease in visual function and complete blindness.