Awards and Honors

17 MAY22 Marine Corps League Battleborn Detachment Department Marine of the Year – George and Susan Malone
Department Marine of the Year – George and Susan Malone

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 989 and Marine Corps League Battleborn Detachment 672 members Susan and George Malone of Reno, NV were honored as the Department of Nevada Marine Corps League Marines of the Year for 2022-23 during the annual Department of Nevada Convention held in Las Vegas, NV May 6-7, 2022.  This is the first time that 2 Marines were honored during the same year.  Susan, the Department of Nevada Jr. Vice Commandant was reelected for a second term of office and George, currently the Battleborn Detachment Paymaster, recently served as the Detachment Commandant.  Both Susan and George retired from the Marine Corps and continue their service to our Nation and to the Reno community.             

George and Susan Malone, members of Battleborn Detachment 672 since 2018 have been key to the successful reorganization and increase of membership in the Battleborn Detachment and the Silver State Detachment 630.

George – Detachment Commandant – 2021 – 22 and Paymaster – 2022.

Susan – Department Jr. Vice Commandant – 2021-22 and Detachment JAG 2022.

George Malone

 Detachment Commandant – January to December 2021

George, served as Detachment Commandant during a tempestuous time from January to December 2021.  In the beginning, only 5 to 6 members including George attended meetings.  George singlehandedly reorganized the Detachment, personally recruited 6 new members, reached out and made members who did not feel welcome, return to the Detachment events.  Acting as the focal point with Sr Vice, Don Enea, he led the effort to successfully raise money to support the Devil Pups program.  He personally contributed $6,000 from the Legion of Valor to our northern Nevada Devil Pups campaign.

On March 27, 2021, George was the guest of honor and keynote speaker at the northern Nevada Vietnam Veterans Remembrance ceremonies.  Organized support to other veterans’ coalition member organizations and participated in the Hawthorne, NV parade, the Fernley Veterans Cem. Memorial Day ceremony and was the guest speaker at the Fallen Naval Hospital Corpsman Birthday celebration.

As Commandant, he appointed a Bylaws committee, the Detachment Bylaws that had been in draft form since 2015.  The Bylaws were updated and approved by the membership during January 2022.

As Paymaster, he immediately established an Audit Committee, conducting an audit of Detachment funds which had not been conducted for many years; he successfully realigned the Detachment bank account to a full-service banking institution with proper oversight and provided, for the first time in many years, a yearly budget to all members. He brought transparency to the Detachment business so all members felt they had a stake in the business of the Detachment.

Susan Malone

Department Jr. Vice Commandant 2021 – 22

Detachment JAG – 2022

Susan serves on the Nevada Department of Veterans Affairs Northern Nevada Veterans Home Advisory Committee.  She serves as a member of the Board of Directors, Chapter 989 Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter and is a member of the Reno VFW and American Legion.  Through her activities in these veterans’ organizations, she has enhanced and promoted the stature of the MCL here in Nevada.

Of key importance, she worked tirelessly with the Commandant of the Silver State Detachment 630 to reestablish, reorganize and bring to full membership, the Silver State Detachment.  For approximately 11 months, she met in person and by phone with the Commandant and another member to encourage setting a meeting date to bring the Detachment to life after COVID.  Finally, on March 21st she successfully met with 12 Detachment members, conducted the election of new officers and guided them in updating their Detachment Bylaws which will be approved by the membership during their April meeting. She successfully recruited 2 new members for the Silver State Detachment and successfully onboarded them at the March 21st meeting.

She has led the way to support, and encourage elderly veterans and represented and attended the Gold Star Families Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Susan Malone’s efforts to bring widows and the elderly members to the MCL picnic has been instrumental in the “once A Marine” and “Family first” programs we support even with the Covid restrictions in force. The annual picnic was not cancelled for 2021 despite the heavy smoke from western fires.

 Susan Malone represented the MCL at the Women Veterans Symposium held in Reno on March 12th. She had an opportunity to tell women veterans about the goals and objectives of the Marine Corps League.

During 2021, Susan paid a courtesy call with the High Desert Detachment in Fallen and supported their funeral ceremonies for a deceased member in early 2022.

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas the Battleborn Detachment, in concert with other Veterans Service Organizations, provides money for needy military/veteran families to receive free food from local food banks. This event was not cancelled during the year 2021, as the local need was larger than usual. Covid restrictions were required for all persons, but the event went ahead because it was needed and George and Susan led the way organizing contributions and gift-giving in concert with the VVA and VFW posts here in Reno.   

In recognition of their generous and distinguished service to Detachment 672, 630 and to the greater Nevada MCL, and their exceptional commitment for the year 2021-2022, to our Reno area veterans, the MCL Detachments and the Nevada MCL family, and to our community, George and Susan Malone are selected as the Nevada MCL Department Marines of the year.

 It is important to note that this is the first time that 2 Marine MCL members have been selected during the same year for this most prestigious award.

The 989 Chapter 2021 Awards

Following the excellent presentation by Magnusson Institute, annual awards were presented for 2021. Brigitte Stafford presented the AVVA Area Representative Award to Sandy and Ralph Theiss. Brigitte thanked them both for their participation in many events this year. President J.R. Stafford presented The 989 Chapter Presidents Award to Rick Kaufmann for recreating the website. Next Meeting 17 FEB @1800

10 DEC 21 Veteran of the Month VVA John Dickinson

Congratulates to John Dickinson for being named Veteran of the Month (VOM) December 2021. Dickinson is an Air Force Veteran. John joined Chapter 989 and with his easy-going nature developed a reputation for being extremely involved in the community. He was a founding member of the Chapter’s Color Guard where he and other members would help ensure live events throughout Washoe County have a color guard present for the National Anthem. He also been a pillar of the organization often volunteering to be a cook, being “Sarge” in doing phone call reminders for events and meetings, and being an active member working to stabilize funding for VVA’s annual scholarships. John is part of the Website Team and severs as the Treasurer of VVA 989.  In past years he was also an active volunteer with Washoe County’s HASTY Rescue Team and a volunteer firefighter and deputy. Through it all he has maintained an endearing personality inviting all to talk whether it is at an outreach event, fundraising at local gun shows, and or supporting VVA’s First Friday Brunch.

01 NOV 21 Brigitte Stafford Veteran Supporter of the Month (VSM)
– Nevada Department of Veterans Services

Brigitte Stafford has been named Veteran Supporter of the Month (VSM) by Governor Steve Sisolak for October 2021. Brigitte Stafford is the Area Representative for the Associates for Vietnam Veterans and the Event Planner for VVA Chapter 989. She has been instrumental in helping the chapter achieve its goals. As the event planner, she has served as the chief lead helping coordinate participants, locations, and supplies for the events the chapter has organized. For the 2019 Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day, Brigette helped to coordinate 26 Veteran Service Organizations to participate in the event and provide information to visitors. She also organized the event to serve as a fundraiser, helping to fund the chapter’s annual scholarships for Veteran Students at UNR and TMCC, and for the Veterans Guest House, Honor Flight Nevada, and the Adopt A Vet Dental Program.

While the pandemic put a pause on large events, she helped the chapter to support the Veterans Standdown and organized an Appreciation Luncheon for the staff of the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home, helping maintain staff morale during a trying year. As the State began to re-open, Brigitte helped secure the Hawkins Amphitheater in Reno for the 2021 Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day, organizing one of the first large scale events in this new environment. Her talents also include facilitating donations to the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home which includes planter boxes, Halloween pumpkins, and jigsaw puzzles.

01 NOV 21  J.R. Stafford  Veteran of the Month – Nevada Department of Veterans Services

J.R. Stafford has been named Veteran of the Month (VOM) by Governor Steve Sisolak for October 2021. The honor and recognition are designed to shine a spotlight on the great work of Nevadans who better our state and nation by contributing their time and energy in support of veterans, their communities, or the military. J.R. Stafford is a Coast Guard retiree who has been an incredible supporter of Veterans in Northern Nevada since becoming active in the community in 2017. In that year, he joined the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 989, where he hit the ground running. He currently serves as the Chapter President since his election in April 2019. He remains involved with several volunteer activities and partnerships. Some highlights include serving as a “docent,” educating the public about the significance of the Traveling Wall for Vietnam Veterans when the Memorial was in Minden. Beginning in 2020 and continuing through today, he has led the VVA’s response to the pandemic which includes support for the Northern Nevada State Veterans Home. Those efforts helped to organize donations of crafts and activity equipment as well as vehicle cruises, including a classic car cruise, for residents and staff who have had to minimize social contact to prevent the spread of COVID-19.Under his leadership, the VVA executed successful Vietnam Remembrance events at the Reno Events Center and the Bartley Ranch. This year, the VVA partnered with the Reno Aces to host a Military Appreciation Game that also dedicated a POW/MIA Chair for one of Reno’s Veterans who had been a resident at the infamous, “Hanoi Hilton.” Additionally, the VVA 989 has continued to provide Color Guard support for parades and “Veterans In Care” ceremonies, when called upon and when possible, due to the pandemic.

2OCT21 IH Sierra Fall Rallye Grass Valley, CA Winner

At the International Harvester Sierra Fall Rallye Grass Valley, CA. the 989 Mascot Scout II shined again. Congratulations to 989 Color Guard Captain Ray Scow for bringing home the 1st Place Trophy for Stock 71-75 Scout II. Rays Scout II has the honor of pulling the 989 Flag Trailer at many events representing VVA 989. Well done!

19OCT21 National Guard Family Program Awards

Chapter President J. R. Stafford and AVVA Area Representative & Chapter Event Coordinator, Brigitte Stafford. receive a 2021 National Guard Family Program MAKE A DIFFERENCE AWARD for Chapter 989.

VVA Sierra Nevada Chapter 989 and our AVVA were recently recognized for the Chapter’s work in support of the National Guard Family Program. Located on Plumb Lane on Reno and in Carson City, the Soldier & Family Readiness Group (SFRG) Unit has been the recipient of our assistance with our continuance of the Gary Meckler Holiday Basket Program. 

Every year Chapter 989 and AVVA members (including Nancy Benson of the Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority) help provide for Guard families who need children’s clothing, toys, and food baskets during the holidays. AVVA members and Chapter members often adopt a Guard family during the holidays and help fill “wish lists.”  The assistance is anonymous but the feedback from SFRG personnel is that we have helped brighten what would have been bleak days in December.

The Chapter also often helps with Guard family support collaborating with our partners (like the Katie Grace Foundation and founder Kimberly Weingartner) suppling childcare products and newborn care items for new families, often when one of the parents are deployed.

We are honored and humbled being recognized by those who directly support our current Warriors often protecting our fellow citizens or deployed at the Gates of Freedom throughout the World.

Members of the Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority including Mary Meckler and Nancy Benson receive a MAKE A DIFFERENCE AWARD during recognition night at the National Guard Family Support Center in Reno. 
Brigitte Stafford was also personally recognized with a MAKE A DIFFERENCE AWARD for her work with the family support center throughout the year.
Kimberley Weingartner. Founder of the Katie Grace Foundation and “Friend” of VVA 989 receives her MAKE A DIFFERENCE AWAR
Veteran of the Month for April 2021 Raymond Scow Sr.

Note: Due to the pandemic, the VOM ceremonies have been postponed. NDVS will provide information on re-scheduling once this unprecedented health crisis is over.

Photos of the ceremony will be posted when available.

Scow is an Army veteran who has been an incredibly active and supportive member of the veteran community in northern Nevada. A member of Vietnam Veterans Chapter 989 since 2015, Scow has served as the Chapter’s parade coordinator. The Chapter participates in as many as five to six parades per year. In support of this, he personalized his Harvester and Trailer to become the Chapter’s “signature” at events throughout Northern Nevada symbolizing that VVA 989 is present and supportive. Scow is also the Chapter’s Homeless Prevention Coordinator and leads the chapter’s efforts in supporting the Homeless Veterans Stand Down in Reno. He cooks hot meals for veterans in need and during the pandemic, handing out $1,500 of baggies with prewrapped snacks for them to have at least something to eat that day. He is also a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Post #1. As a DAV member, he is an avid volunteer of the Post’s fundraising efforts in support of Honor Flight Nevada. He is often the top ticket seller for the Post’s raffle, which supports Honor Flight. For those who know Scow, he can often be found volunteering at one event or another or preparing for the larger events in the community.

Veteran of the Month for February 2021 Robert Edwards

Note: Due to the pandemic, the VOM ceremonies have been postponed. NDVS will provide information on re-scheduling once this unprecedented health crisis is over.

Photos of the ceremony will be posted when available.

We congratulate Robert Edwards of Reno for being named Veteran of the Month for February. Edwards Is a Marine Corps veteran who began supporting the veteran community by joining the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 744 in Winnemucca in 2003. While living in Winnemucca, he would often volunteer to serve as relief driver for the van that transported veterans from Winnemucca to the Reno VA Hospital. This activity lasted eight years. During his time with VVA 744, he was also able to work with the county to negotiate a no charge lease for a permanent veterans hall in a county-owned facility. When he moved to Reno in 2012, he joined VVA Chapter 989 and VFW 3819 where has been active with both. In his new home, he has served in a variety of roles from being his chapter’s chair for their Assistance Fund, to serving on the board of directors and vice president of the chapter in 2019. His involvement in the community is not limited to only Veterans, as he also has worked to support the National Guard’s 422th Signal Battalion’s annual family Holiday Party.

Veteran of the Month for October 2020 Norman Allen

Note: Due to the pandemic, the VOM ceremonies have been postponed. NDVS will provide information on re-scheduling once this unprecedented health crisis is over.

Photos of the ceremony will be posted when available.

We congratulate Norman Allen for being named Veteran of the Month October 2020. Allen is a Vietnam Veteran who served in a weapons platoon with the 3rd Marine Division.Allen has been a committed and supportive member of the veteran community in northern Nevada. He is an active member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Nevada Honor Flight, and United Veterans Legislative Council. As an active member of the veteran community, he has held leadership positions with VFW Chapter 9211 and VVA Chapter 989. In his roles with the VVA, he supported his Chapter’s efforts with the Veterans Guest House, Northern Nevada Veterans Home, and the Chapter’s, veteran scholarship.

Veteran of the Month for March 2020 Monk Mann

Note: Due to the pandemic, the VOM ceremonies have been postponed. NDVS will provide information on re-scheduling once this unprecedented health crisis is over. Photos of the ceremony will be posted when available.

US Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran, Marion (Monk) Mann has been named Veteran of the Month. Mann was selected for this honor and recognition due to his volunteer work at the VA hospital and Veterans Guest House. He has also served on the Board of Directors for the Veterans Guest House, including currently serving as President where he helped oversee the recently dedicated $4.5 million-dollar expansion of the facility. Mann has served as a guardian for Nevada’s Honor Flight, he is a life member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 989, Reno and is also a member of the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Military Officers of America Association.

Veteran of the Month for December 2019 Andy LePeilbet

During the special ceremony held inside the Old Assembly Chamber in Carson City U.S. Army veteran Andy LePeilbet received two special honors and recognition last month. LePeilbet was named Veteran of the Month (VOM), and he also received a second Silver Star for gallantry in action in the Vietnam War. Governor Steve Sisolak noted the many affiliations and work of LePeilbet to benefit Nevada’s veterans and military members.

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Veteran of the Month for September 2019 Linda Dickinson

In a ceremony inside Carson City’s Old Assembly Chambers, Linda Dickinson was honored as Veteran of the Month during a special ceremony on September 6, 2019. Governor Steve Sisolak and NDVS Director Kat Miller presented Dickinson with a certificate and a custom Veteran of the Month pin. Linda is the immediate Past President of the Sierra Nevada Chapter 989 of the Vietnam Veterans of America. She recently completed four terms as Chapter President (April 2015 – April 2019).

Veteran Supporter of the Month for April 2018

Vietnam Veterans of America Sierra Nevada Chapter 989

Vietnam Veterans of America Sierra Nevada Chapter 989 receives Veteran Supporter of the Month Recognition and Honor. Most of the seats were full inside the Old Assembly Chambers, located on the second floor of the Capitol Building, above the Governor’s Office.Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Sierra Nevada Chapter 989 had to save the Governor a front row seat. He slid into his chair just as Nevada Department of Nevada Services Director Kat Miller began joking about having to adjust the podium before the ceremony could begin. Her smiles and jokes quickly took a serious turn when she began highlighting just a few of the reasons this Reno VVA Chapter was selected to receive Veteran Supporter of the Month.“This group shares a bond and a commitment that never again will one generation of veterans abandon another,” Miller said. Before introducing Governor Sandoval, she read a lengthy list of ways this group provides support to the veteran community ranging from assisting those with PTSD, to supporting non-profits like the Veterans Guest House or championing veteran-friendly legislation during the Nevada Legislature. The Governor told the group how much he respects their military service, explaining his father served in WWII. He spoke about his visits while serving as Governor to Nevada military members serving overseas and what a lasting impression that made on him. In closing, he motioned to a giant circular seal in the middle of the chamber that features the head of former President Abraham Lincoln. Sandoval said, “In the shadow of Abraham Lincoln I want to paraphrase one of his famous quotes; I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives, so that his place is proud of him.” VVA Chapter 989 President, Linda Dickinson noted the group was relatively new, having formed in 2006. She said, “We started with just 25 members and have grown to more than 150 members in the Reno and Sparks area.” ( By Terri Hendry )

28SEP17 Recognition Senator Heller