The Wheel For January 30, 2020

by Jan 30, 2020The Wheel0 comments

The Wheel

Kat Miller – Veteran Services

Kat is the Director of the Nevada Department of Veterans Services, responsible for supporting the State Veterans Cemeteries, Veterans Homes, and Veterans Service Officer program.

Kat served 34 years in the United States Army. Beginning her career as soldier in the Woman’s Army Corps, she achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant before commissioning as a military police officer.

She has served around the world, to include Panama, Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan; and commanded at company, battalion, and Army Command levels, earring the distinction as the longest serving brigade commander in modern Army history.

Kat’s three Pentagon tours included duty as the Commander of the Army Corrections Command, supervising six correctional facilities and developing policy for the detention of unlawful enemy combatants. After retiring, she taught bachelors and masters level college course at the University of Maryland and the University of Nevada, Reno until she was appointed by Governor Sandoval as Director.

Kat’s education includes a Master’s of Science degree from the U.S. Army War College and a Master’s of Public Administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago.

Speaking Topics

From Private to Colonel—and all the Bumps In Between

Never dreaming of a career in the military, Kat found herself following the promise of a college education into a life she never imagined; leading soldiers on 5 continents in both war and peace. Hear an inspiring—sometimes amusing, sometimes challenging—story of serving in the United States Army.

Celebrating the Legacy of America’s Women Warriors!

Take a walk through time as Kat highlights the history of women in the U.S. Military; from 1775 through today’s modern force. She will draw from her distinguished career to offer perspectives on the contribution of women warriors and why they are essential to the success of America’s military.

You Need America’s Veterans—More Than They Need you!

The media often portrays veterans as broken, dangerous, and unstable. While some veterans both need and deserve assistance, this inaccurate media portrayal prevents many from seeing Veterans for who they really are. Kat shares her experience as Neavda’s Director of Veterans Services to showcase the contributions of America’s Veterans and provide ideas about how you can support our military and veterans.

Message From The President

Dear Rotarians,

Also, on my list of speakers was a representative from Veteran’s services. I asked that the area of focus be on health-related issues. Taking care of those who take care of us by keeping us safe and preserving our freedom is the one responsibility that our government must take not just seriously, (that is a given,) but place its importance as a top priority.

Our club has long supported our active duty military through the Wetzel awards and has, during this year given financial support to the local USO. We are so fortunate to have so many veterans as club members, and we thank them for their service.

To quote from the Institute of Medicine, “The men and women in the United States armed forces confront health challenges of a scope and complexity that few other Americans ever experience. Active-duty personnel in combat directly face risks of injury or death. In addition, both combat forces and personnel serving away from the front lines may experience lengthy exposures to hazardous environments, either natural or produced by human activities. Chemical exposures, for example, may at times exceed those that would be considered safe in a civilian working environment. Beyond immediate physical threats, military personnel often must deal with the effects of being in high-intensity, stressful, and dangerous environments, sometimes for months or years at a time.”

There is a laundry list of physical ailments that can result from this excessive exposure. Most of us are aware of the cancers, coronary disease, diabetes, hypertension, chronic fatigue and so many more, but what about the mental issues? We hear about PTS, used to be known as PTSD, but therapists now do not wish to label this as a disorder. Therapists hesitate to use the description of mental illness. The preference is that is the result of a traumatic event or events. But what about veteran homelessness, drug abuse and suicide?

I am especially interested in the veteran homelessness. Why are our military veterans on the streets? Is it their choice or lack of opportunity? If it is a lack of opportunity, then the Federal government shoulders some of the burden.

Three weeks ago we heard Judith Pinkerton speak about her Music for Life program and how she delivered it to an Air Force Base in Alaska. Another member, Dr Michael Williams, works with Veterans through his skill with Transcendental Meditation. Alternative therapies, that are having some amazing results.

Is the Department of Veterans Affairs offering alternative therapies to our active duty and veterans? Members of the military, like civilians, increasingly are using dietary supplements. Although some supplements may provide benefits to health, others may compromise the readiness and performance of service members. The risks may be greatest for specific military populations, such as members of Special Forces units, who often endure harder tasks and harsher environments and therefore face heightened physiological demands.

These several potential health disciplines and many others I hope are being considered as additions to the standard medical practices. Many of us civilians practice a combination of both. Shouldn’t our military and veterans be offered both as well?

Additionally, first responders are also exposed to many of the same health challenges. They deserve our care and compassion as well.

Jackie Thornhill
Las Vegas Rotary Club

Member Highlights

Scribe – January 23, 2020

Las Vegas Rotary Club Meeting:  Thursday, January 23, 2020

  • President Jacqueline Thornhill called the meeting to order.
  • Past President Jim Kohl gave the invocation. 
  • Past President Michael Gordon led the club singing God Bless America, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.  
  • The Sergeant at Arms was Kirk Alexander
  • There was 1 International Rotarian, 1 visiting Rotarian and 

5 Guest of Rotarians introduced.

Special guest, Chantay Ben Shimon, the Global Grants Scholar sponsored by the Las Vegas Rotary Club and District 5300 was recognized and applauded.  


  • The drawing began at $3,920.00 plus this week’s donations.  The Ticket Winner was Val Hatley, who received a prize of $10 and the Lawry’s Bucks Winner was Bob Werner.
  • President Jacqueline Thornhill announced:
  1. The People of Action Campaign is one of our check boxes for the Presidential Citation so please continue to send photos to Jackie.
  2. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is extending their partnership with Rotary and adding an additional $150,000,000 to eradicate polio.
  3. Reminder that the International convention is June 6-10 and is being held in Hawaii.
  4. District conference is in Pasadena May 1 to May 3, 2020. 
  5. There is one Business Card Ad still available in the Wheel.
  6. Olena Balybina from the 2019 Ukrainian One World Delegation let us know that Oksana Tjupa, is the Charter President of the newly formed Rotary Club in Kyiv, Ukraine.
  7. Janet Linder underwent surgery and reports are that it went well.
  8. Remember to recycle the wheel and tickets and to keep the Green Book moving.
  • President Elect Richard Jost presented:
  1. Chris Palladino, Jr. Achievement of Southern Nevada, a Community Grants Award of $4,000 to help 40,000 kids learn financial literacy and job readiness.  
  • Toni Kern provided an update to the new project “Together We Read”.  Rotary will be partnering with Spread the Word Nevada with funding from a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant.  The content and structure are still in evolution, but updates will be shared as plans begin to firm. Shannon Brown from Will Beckley Elementary has agreed to assist in the project execution.   An informational questionnaire is scheduled to go out 2/15/2020 from a data base provided by Shannon at Beckley. Anyone interested in this project please contact Toni Kern.
  • Shannon Brown said that Will Beckley is proud to sponsor “Together We Read” and have the opportunity to give back to this Club.  On another note, Career Day is on Friday, 2/7. If you can participate please contact Shannon Brown.
  • 25 Club President, Carey Grohs introduced a new 25 Club International Project, Destiny Rescue which was introduced at the 2019 Peace Conference.  The 25 Club Goal is to raise $3,000 to rescue 2 girls from human trafficking. She also announced that the 25 Club graduation will be held at McFadden’s on Jan.29.
  • Marie Walsh announced Breakfast with Books on February 11.
  • President Jackie Thornhill for Director Melanie Jo Muldowney announced that through the end of June, the Club will offer a Foundation match of 50% or up to 500 points to obtain your first Paul Harris award or to increase your current level.   Contact Shawn or Melanie to find out your status.
  • President Elect Richard Jost announced the fund raiser tickets are for sale.  He encouraged everyone to take at least 2 tickets.
  • Michael Williams said that RYLA will be held 3/21-3/23 in Big Bear, CA.  Our Club will be sponsoring 15 students so if you know of someone that would qualify please talk to Michael.
  • President Jacqueline Thornhill for Deb Granda reminded us of the Red Cross Blood Drive on February 29 from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM we will be holding our first Blood Drive at Lawry’s the Prime Rib.  Donors and people for logistical help are needed. Schedule yourself in the Green Book.
  • Past President Jim Tucker announced that the Superbowl Board is SOLD OUT!
  • Marie Walsh introduced our program speaker, Daniel Liles, Instructional Coach at Will Beckley Elementary School.

Daniel Liles was the 2011-2012 Ambassadorial Scholar to India which was sponsored by District 5240 in California. Thru his photography and comprehensive narrative, we were able to understand the many cultural differences and challenges he experienced as he set out to find and execute a meaningful Service Project.   He generously shared his personal growth from acknowledging cultural bias that he did not know existed to how the experience molded him and guided his career path and choices he makes even today. It was that experience that led him to Will Beckley and ultimately to our Club.

  • President Jackie Thornhill presented our speaker with a “Share What You Can” award to benefit the local USO and then adjourned the meeting.

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