LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Candidate for Governor of Nevada, current Attorney General Adam Laxalt, announced Wednesday a series of policy priorities aimed at empowering Nevada’s military veterans. Laxalt said that as Governor, he’ll work to address the crisis of veteran suicide, provide better communication with veterans about the services available to them, and promote policies that create opportunities for veterans to succeed in the workforce.
“Our men and women in the armed services put their lives at risk every day to defend our freedoms. We must stand with them and their families while they are abroad and when they return home,” Laxalt, an Iraq War veteran, told a group of veterans and supporters at Veterans Village in Las Vegas. “Tremendous work has been done on behalf of Nevada’s service members, veterans and their families in recent years. Governor Brian Sandoval made it a priority in his administration to make our state the most veteran-friendly in the country and he has the results to show for it. I look forward to building on his success,” Laxalt said.
Laxalt said his policy priorities for veterans include:
*Empowering veterans with information and resources.
-Laxalt said he plans to bring Nevada’s veterans support infrastructure all across the state, similar to the model of his Office of Military Legal Assistance. This entails holding local workshops and events and working with Nevada’s veterans focused entities to bring the state’s resources to veterans in their local communities. He also plans to establish and maintain a well-functioning single point-of-contact for information on all veteran services and organizations, to ensure veterans can get access to the help and support they need in a timely and efficient way.
*Combating the crisis of veteran suicide
-Noting that every three days, a Nevada veteran commits suicide, Laxalt committed to addressing this problem from Day 1 as Governor. He pledged to re-establish the Veterans Suicide Prevention Task Force to identify policies and programs that will reduce veteran suicide, and announced he’s putting together a task force to study this issue during his campaign so he can combat the crisis from the very first day of his administration.
“This is an ongoing tragedy that must be faced head-on,” Laxalt said. “We must ensure that Nevada’s veterans who are struggling with the enormous challenge of returning to everyday life will get the support, care, and services they need. We owe these heroes nothing less,” Laxalt said.
*Opening doors of opportunity for veterans. Laxalt shared his ideas for establishing a mentorship program, as well as expanding on other efforts to connect veterans with those who can help put them on the path to career success. He also said he’ll explore policy reforms that would remove barriers for businesses that want to hire veterans and will make it a priority to hire more veterans in state government.
*Creating a Veterans Summit. Laxalt described his vision for creating a regular Veterans Summit, modeled after the highly successful Law Enforcement Summit he established as Attorney General. The Veterans Summit would bring together leaders from all facets of the state’s veterans services community to share ideas and best practices for how to serve Nevada’s veteran population as effectively as possible.
“As a veteran myself, I understand how crucial it is that those who have served our country receive the support they have earned and so richly deserve,” Laxalt said. “As Governor, I will continue to build on our recent successes and toward the goal of making Nevada the most veteran empowering state in the nation,” Laxalt said.
“I’m extremely proud that as Attorney General, I’ve backed up my campaign promises with swift and effective action,” Laxalt added. “This includes the establishment of both the Office of Military Legal Assistance and the Law Enforcement Summit, two highly successful initiatives, during my first year in office. Now I’m making a firm commitment to Nevada’s veterans, and my record shows that it’s a commitment they can count on,” said Laxalt.
He also announced the formation of Veterans for Laxalt, a coalition of veterans supporting him in his campaign for Governor. He expressed his gratitude to the members of the coalition, including its chairs: former U.S.S. Cole Commander Kirk Lippold; Lt. General Buck Bedard, USMC; wounded Marine veteran Dylan Gray; and retired Army Colonel George Del Carlo.