weather icon Clear

Veterans Report: Veterans (Easter) Seal the deal

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, Disabled American Veterans and so many more have been collectively helping veterans for hundreds of years.

So when I recently learned that the well-respected Easter Seals group also plays a large role in helping veterans, I was very surprised.

Easter Seals is certainly not well-known for its work with ex-military Americans, even though it offers many such programs.

Recently I spoke with the Nevada Easter Seals CEO, Brian Patchett, who explained several of the activities available. Through a contract with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, along with affiliates and collaborative partners, the organization provides comprehensive support to veterans who are caregivers.

The program teaches such skills as home safety, personal care, self-care and management of difficult behaviors. In a related effort, Easter Seals partners with the Elizabeth Dole Foundation to offer free webinars where experts in the field support and educate caregivers of military service members and veterans. The free videos can be accessed at easterseals.com/carewebinar.

There is also a dedicated toll-free number where veterans can access information about benefits and assistance with general health and education services. Information is also available concerning legal aid, housing and financial education. Callers are often connected with public and private organizations suited to their needs. The phone number is (866) 423-4981.

Employment is also a priority. Patchett said his group offers skills training, job search assistance and guidance regarding resume preparation and personal presentation during interviews.

Problems and remedies experienced by women veterans have been in the news as of late. While females can be beset by many of the same problems that their male counterparts have, they also have specific concerns that affect women especially in the areas of health. With that in mind, Easter Seals has been working to provide detailed information to women veterans.

Locally, U.S. Navy veteran Liz Grable is on board with Patchett and is working to establish lines of communication to female veterans. She is encouraged by a paper published by the Office of Warrior and Family Support issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The paper challenges policy makers to bridge the gap between services available and services veterans require during re-integration to civilian life. She notes that programs such as increased access to child care, mental health, employment and other key areas can greatly benefit women veterans and their families.

Patchett had been with Easter Seals in other locales since 1996 before coming to Las Vegas in 2004. His background is thick with education and experience, including being a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, and president of the Southern Nevada Association of Providers. And while he doesn’t talk about or discuss his own situation, he is legally blind.

For more information about Easter Seals, to make a donation or to discuss becoming a volunteer, call (702) 870-7050.


Many U.S. officials talk about the War on Terrorism and openly discuss America’s current and future role in fighting enemies in the Middle East and elsewhere. Those comments are often somewhat tempered.

But during remarks to an audience of airmen and civilians at the recent Change of Command Ceremony for the 99th Air Base Wing at Nellis AFB, Major Gen. Glen VanHerck was very open on where we stand and where we’re going when he remarked, “We are a nation at war, and we will be a nation at war for many years to come.”

With that in mind, congratulations to Col. Paul J. Murray, who moments later took command of the 99th.

Chuck N. Baker is an Army veteran of the Vietnam War and a Purple Heart recipient. Every other Sunday he discusses veterans’ issues over several Lotus Broadcasting AM radio stations in Southern Nevada.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
DEBRA J. SAUNDERS: Trump voters not dying to see Trump

The empty seats at President Donald Trump’s Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally show that his supporters aren’t willing to put themselves at risk to attend a rally during a pandemic.

DAN SCHINHOFEN: Facts, not fear

At the end of this piece, I will list my sources, which are mostly the CDC. From the beginning of this “crisis,” we have been told that we need to listen to the experts, and that is what I have been doing. The CDC recommends using masks and wiping down surfaces, but they do not have clinical data to back this up, and they even contradict their own message in some cases.

THOMAS KNAPP: COVID-19: Freedom means that we can do stupid things, not that we have to

NBC News reports that President Donald Trump is “furious” over “underwhelming” attendance at his June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Only 6,200 of 19,000 seats ended up cradling Trump supporters’ butts. An optimistically pre-arranged overflow area went unused.

STEVE SEBELIUS: Voters share blame for long election day lines

State and local elections officials created a safe and convenient way to vote in the June primary, but many voters chose to ignore that and waited in long lines as a result.