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Local veterans look north for assistance

During the past several years at least three separate individuals have told me that they would like to finance a building for veterans, a place where all vets could go to just hang out, have meetings, converse and feel at home.

All they required was financing. One lady said she had a friend who was buying some real estate, and once the transaction closed, he was going to help her secure a location. For whatever reason, none of those people were actually able to make anything happen concerning a general veteran meeting place.

Enter North Las Vegas. That’s a city that made things happen when it came to a building location for veterans. Last year NLV established the Veterans and Community Resource Center on the grounds of the Centennial Hills YMCA at 3050 E. Centennial Parkway.

Staffed by veteran Walter Lescano, there are any number of events held there that provide services and information to veterans and their families. In addition to those one-time programs, the facility holds regular monthly meetings to Southern Nevada Veterans service providers. Lescano said that, “Our group meets monthly to help empower and support Southern Nevada’s veterans through a collaborative network of service providers, ensuring comprehensive care, advocacy and opportunities for a successful transition to civilian life. Our mission is to honor and uplift those who have served by fostering a community that values their well-being and contributions.”

At a recent meeting, approximately 30 individuals representing numerous specific veterans’ organizations and civilian groups that assist veterans were present. Each person was given time to introduce themselves and explain who they represent and what they do for veterans. After the introductions several of the speakers met individually with each other in order to set private consolations and discuss services that complimented each other’s goals.

North Las Vegas is a long way from Boulder City. Yet individuals from Las Vegas and Henderson made the trek (and make the trek) each month. When it comes to providing help for veterans, distance can often be overcome. At the recent meeting Lescano continued to discuss guidelines for the monthly soiree.

“We focus discussions on actionable solutions and initiatives that directly benefit our veterans’ community,” he said. “We also prioritize collaboration and partnerships with local organizations to maximize our collective impact.”

Boulder City is well-known as a veteran-friendly city. The veterans’ home, the veterans’ cemetery, several veterans’ organizations, Independence Day events and other patriotic holiday celebrations have cemented the connection between the city and its respect for those who have served in the military.

Perhaps the city can consider designating an official veterans’ representative to attend the monthly NLV meeting and learn how Boulder City can become more proactive in veterans’ affairs. At the same time all local veterans can take it upon themselves to attend and participate. Lescano can be reached at (702) 633-1640.

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