Congratulations go out to Willette Gerald (Willette) of Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Raiders Foundation for receiving special honor and recognition from Governor Steve Sisolak. Willette has been named Veteran of the Month (VOM) and the Las Vegas Raiders Foundation was named Veteran Supporter for the Month (VSM) for March 2021.
Willette is a retired Air Force veteran who has been incredibly involved in the Nevada Veterans community since her retirement from the military. She worked tirelessly with the Las Vegas Veterans Memorial Foundation and Nevada State Public Works to ensure the installation of the Nevada State Veterans Memorial at the Grant Sawyer Building.
She followed it up by planning and executing a tremendous ribbon cutting ceremony. She has been an active supporter of the Thunderbird Alumni Association and worked to shepherd legislation authorizing the creation and sale of the Nevada Thunderbird plates that were sold from 2013 to 2014. Her support for the community also has her personal touch. She has hosted single airmen and local families for Christmas dinners and serves as a mentor for junior female airmen, helping them overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities for females in the military.
Her personal touch has been on display at events where she has been asked to speak at ceremonies for Buffalo Soldiers, women veterans and a Vietnam War Commemorative.
The Las Vegas Raiders Foundation is a recent addition to southern Nevada but has been an active supporter of the veteran’s community since arriving. As the charitable arm of the team, the foundation is committed to increasing community and civic health through support of the military, veterans, and youth development. Through this commitment, the foundation donated $10,000 to the Southern Nevada State Veterans Home supporting the Home’s COVID-19 Safe Programs.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, the foundation conducted a “homegate”, event for staff and residents of the Home to show their appreciation, while the Raiders played against the Denver Broncos. As part of this “homegate,” the foundation had Raider alumnus Vance Mueller and current player Nevin Lawson offer a virtual welcome before the game; they catered gameday fare as residents had a chance to enjoy the game in a COVID-19 compliant environment.
The foundation has also been an active supporter of currently serving military, who they have honored through the NFL’s Salute to Service event at Allegiant Stadium and have afforded select groups of Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases to light the Al Davis Memorial Torch.
Due to the pandemic, the VOM and VSM ceremonies have been postponed. NDVS will provide information on re-scheduling once this unprecedented health crisis is over.
The VOM is awarded to veterans across Nevada who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, specifically with respect to volunteer work in support of veterans and the military.
The VSM award recognizes both organizations and nonveteran Nevada community members who support military members stationed in Nevada, Nevada veterans, and their families. Both programs recognize individuals and organizations that help military members, veterans, and their families.
If you would like to nominate a veteran for the VOM award check out their website.
NDVS is dedicated to helping Nevada veterans get the services, benefits and quality of life they have earned through their service and sacrifice.
NDVS offers benefits counseling and assistance, including filing VA claims, all at no cost. NDVS also oversees and manages the Northern and Southern Nevada State Veterans Home as well as the Veterans Memorial Cemeteries.
For more information, click here.