U.S. Marine Bruno Moya was honored as Veteran of the Month on July 12 by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services.
Moya leads 1,500 student veterans at the University of Nevada Las Vegas as president of the Rebels Veterans Organization. He also volunteers at the UNLV Vet Center and in the PAVE program (Peer Advising for Veterans Education). Moya believes there is value in working with returning veterans who seek guidance in their studies while navigating a complex civilian world.
"We work with vets to link them up with available resources and information outside of the University," said Moya. "The issues can range from needing a month's rent covered, paperwork issues, legal assistance, benefit packages for their education, and helping them manage extenuating circumstances."
Moya recalled the story of one veteran who was having a difficult time transitioning into civilian life. "He was getting divorced and failing his classes," Moya said. "I helped him write a letter to his instructors."
The veteran was able to salvage his classes and get himself back on track.
Moya shipped out with the U.S. Marine Corps 15 days after graduating from Clark High School. Assigned to a reserve unit in Las Vegas, his battalion was activated in the weeks following 9-11. He was deployed in Kuwait in 2003 and was part of the Iraq invasion, and served three years as a Marine Combat Instructor.
His community service activities lead to an invitation to President Obama's 2015 State of the Union Address. He also served as chairperson of Senator Dean Heller's Veterans Advisory Committee in 2015.
Moya is currently working towards a degree in psychology, and hopes to become a social worker upon completion of his education. He believes veterans will always be a part of his public service focus.