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Chuck N. Baker

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.

Convention looks at effect of brain injuries on vision

It was a world of initials in May when the Department of Veterans Affairs teamed up with the Blinded Veterans Association and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the National Football League to discuss traumatic brain injury and its affect on blindness. The occasion was the annual convention of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology held in Denver this year.

Broadcasters address ways to hire veterans

The National Association of Broadcasters recently held its annual convention in Las Vegas. As part of the event, the trade group sponsored a seminar to advise employers about the value of hiring veterans. The audience included many veterans as well as employers. Employers said they were eager to hire qualified candidates who had military backgrounds.

Bills to aid veterans under consideration

By the time this is published, I will have attended Veterans and Military Day at the Legislature in Carson City. At the Veterans Wall at the state Capitol building, Gov. Brian Sandoval and other leaders will address the attendees, and other elected officials will be available to meet with veterans and active-duty personnel.

Titus addresses veterans’ transportation needs

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., recently held a veterans roundtable in Las Vegas to discuss happenings on Capitol Hill. She is on the House Veterans Committee, and is the ranking member on memorial services.

Numerous organizations strive to help veterans

A website called reports it helps veterans receive discounts from select local and national companies. The site lists businesses that voluntarily offer discounts and reduced fees.

Clergy provides link to help veterans

The legislative chairwoman of the Society of Military Widows, Nevada’s Janet Snyder, is well-versed on local veterans issues and travels across the country gathering information and promoting legislation that helps members and veterans in general. Recently, she participated in a Veterans Affairs’ Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships conference call. The topic was “Journeying Together: An Overview of Partnerships with Local Clergy, VA Chaplains, and Community Leaders in Caring for Our Returning Combat Veterans.”

Student loan burden hinders VA employees

Last month I wrote about Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald’s plans to bring more medical doctors and other health professionals into the VA system. One of the items in his broad outlook includes the government expanding its student loan repayment program.

VA secretary strives to boost medical personnel

Last month I wrote that there was more to come concerning the new Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert A. McDonald. At a press conference at the VA medical facility in North Las Vegas this past summer, I asked him how he planned to bring in new doctors when the government pays much less than the private sector. He said he was considering a plan to help pay off student loans if medical doctor interns would sign up with the VA, but he gave no details.

Comic books, G.I.s mix well

Some years ago I faithfully attended the annual Comic-Con gathering in San Diego with my young son, a fan of Superman, Batman and Spider-Man, to be sure. Short for “comic book convention,” the international event has since grown into what is probably the largest pop culture convention in the U.S., if not the world. This year, 130,000 individuals showed up, hundreds of them in costume depicting superheroes, Harry Potter characters, Ninja Turtles, Wonder Woman, Usagi Yojimbo of Japanese fame and many others.

Next VA secretary should come from the rank, file

Recent news reports suggesting the Department of Veterans Affairs has neglected veterans, and in some cases been responsible for the death of several individuals who served our nation, is cause for great concern. It’s interesting that while many states, notably Arizona, have been named as having deficient VAs, Nevada has thus far escaped national coverage concerning the death of a female veteran here some months ago whose friends suggested may have been because of neglect.

Organizations offer veterans job help

I’ve written about a few motion-­picture-based organizations that attempt to help individuals break into the movie business. Although they exist to serve a wider audience, they do, and may still have, veterans sections that work to help that specific segment of the star struck who have served in the military.

Local VA chief discusses health issues

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Isabel Duff, director of the Veterans Administration Southern Nevada Healthcare System, who was named to the position almost one year ago when the former director retired. The interview took place on my radio show.

American Legion receives help from others

Despite its name implying it’s strictly a U.S. veterans group, the American Legion is actually an international organization, with ex­patriot members living around the world.