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Holiday help for veterans overseas, and in Nevada

There are more than 24,000 American troops still in Afghanistan, and during the past weekend Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel revealed plans to leave 1,000 additional troops due to an increase in Taliban attacks.

Those troops will spend the holiday season defending against the Taliban and fighting to stabilize the war torn country so that it will never again be a training and staging ground for attacks on the U.S.

These brave men and women won’t be home or with their families for the holidays, they’ll be spending Christmas in a terrible war zone.

While we fill out our Christmas wish lists, many of our troops are thankful for just being alive because they realize that not all that serve are so lucky. They are fully aware of the risks they take and dangers they face every day, but do so willingly for our safety. They deserve a small token of appreciation around the holidays.

The holidays are the loneliest time of the year for many people serving in a normal capacity, but imagine if you are serving in the military thousands of miles from home in a foreign land. While many members of our military have supportive and loving families that send them food and other goodies throughout the year, many do not. They can get very lonely, especially during the holidays.

It’s often reported from military men and women that the “Care Packages” they receive are often the only piece of mail or support they get all year, and it means the world to them.

Troops really appreciate any useful items that are included in gift packages, but the most appreciated item is a personalized letter from YOU if you know anyone in the service or have a relative currently serving. Thank them for their service and let them know you support them.

Bring a little holiday cheer to our brave men and women of the military —it might be the only mail they get all year. If anyone wants to send tax deductible cash donations to help send gift packages to military members, checks can be mailed to the organization Move America Forward. The address is: ATTN: Scott Raab, Move America Forward, 8795 Folsom Blvd.-Suite 103, Sacramento, Calif., 95826. Or, to sign up a deployed service member to receive a gift package, visit www.moveamericaforward, or call (916) 441-6197.

STATE VETERANS OFFICE TO VISIT RURAL TOWNS: The Nevada Dept. of Veterans Services ROVER Program will have Veteran Service Officers visiting various communities and is also announcing the Interactive Video Conferencing (IVA) for two communities in partnership with Great Basin College.

On-site visits generally need to be scheduled, pre-scheduled appointments are suggested. Walk-in appointments are welcome, but can only be seen as time permits. To schedule an advanced appointment, contact Pamela (775) 688-1653. Veterans are advised to bring a copy of their DD-214 discharge document, current VA paperwork, medical information and banking account information. If the claim involves dependents, bring birth certificates, current and prior marriage certificates, divorce decrees, and social security numbers.

Thurs .Dec. 12

Winnemucca Armory – 735 West Fourth Street, 10:30 am To 2:30 p.m.

Beatty Town Office – 100 A Ave S, 10 am To 3 p.m.

Thurs. Dec. 18

Tonopah – Health and Human Services – 1120 Globe Mallow Lane, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More information is available at the NDVS ROVER Web page. To schedule a meeting for each location veterans must call (775) 777-1000.

Army veteran, journalist and author Chuck N. Baker is a Purple Heart recipient of the Vietnam War, and the host of the “Veterans Reporter Radio Show” each Thursday night on KLAV-AM, 1230 on the dial. It’s also streamed live at www.klav1230am.com.

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