Medal of Valor
Grand Lodge put forth a program to make available Elks Medals of Valor to be presented to deserving families of those who have made the supreme sacrifice in the conflicts in Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom).
Through NSEA Veterans Services Chairman Wayne Leroy's hard work the program was initiated in 2007 by the Southern Nevada Lodges, with presentations made on Memorial Day. The program having been met with such great enthusiasm was repeated in 2008 by the Southern Nevada Lodges on Memorial Day and for the first time by the Northern Nevada Lodges on June 28th. The presentations were held by the Southern Nevada Lodges at the Las Vegas Lodge and Northern Nevada Lodges at the Fallon Lodge. This program will continue each year as long as we have men and women of the armed forces serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the name of the Freedom we so much enjoy our heart felt gratitude goes out to the families for their loses:
Army Cpl. Mathew A. Commons, 21, of Boulder City, NV
Army Chief Warrant Officer John D. Smith, 32, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Cameron B. Sarno, 43, of Las Vegas, NV
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Shane E. Patton, 22, of Boulder City, NV
Army Sgt. John C. Griffith, 33, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Pfc. Joshua R. Rhoads, 23, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Spec. Ezra Dawson, 31, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Sgt. Josue E. Henandez Chavez, 23, of Las Vegas, NV
Marine Cpl. William I. Salazar, 26, of Las Vegas, NV
Marine Pfc. John Lukac, 19, of Las Vegas, NV
Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas H. Anderson, 19, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Pfc. Daniel F. Guastaferro, 27, of Las Vegas, NV
Marine Lance Cpl. Richard A. Perez Jr., 19, of Henderson, NV
Army Cpl. Stanley J. Lapinski, 35, of Las Vegas, NV
Marine Cpl. Jesse Jaime, 22, of Henderson, NV
Army N.G. Spc. Anthony S. Cometa, 21, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Cpl. Joseph L. Martinez, 21, of Las Vegas, NV
Army 1st Sgt. Carlos N. Saenz, 46, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Spec. Teodoro Torres Jr., 29, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Staff Sgt. Emmanuel L. Legaspi, 38, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Spec. Ignacio Ramirez, 22, of Henderson, NV
Marine Lance Cpl. Budd M. Cote, 21, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Staff Sgt. Coby G. Schwab, 25, of Henderson, NV
Army Pfc. Joshua Steven Modging, 22, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Spec. Travis Michael Virgadamo, 19, of Las Vegas, NV
Army Staff Sgt. Michael Lopez Townes, 29, Las Vegas, NV
Army Sgt. Alfred Garcia Paredez Jr., 32, of Las Vegas, NV
May you rest in peace.
The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks has a history of supporting U.S. soldiers which began during World War I when the organization appropriated for the War Relief Fund. These funds were used mainly for the sick and wounded and to equip base hospitals in France. The Elks institution inspired the federal government to establish the GI bill and continues its support of U.S. veterans from past and present wars as was evidenced in the awarding of Medals of Valor to the families of Nevada soldiers.
The Elk's pledge to veterans states, "As long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks will never forget them."