Veteran's Affairs Plus W/ David L. Washington November 4, 2023

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Unknown Speaker 0:41
You can see what's going on what's going on? What's going on? Good morning, Las Vegas. This Veterans Affairs plus on 91.5, jazz and more. I'm Dave Washington, your host I'm excited about first guests today will be Congresswoman former Congresswoman Shelley Berkley. Hello, Congresswoman. And I do want you to say hello before I make a few announcements.

Unknown Speaker 1:15
I write a hello chief. It's great to hear your voice.

Unknown Speaker 1:20
Absolutely. Absolutely. Got a few birthdays. I want to acknowledge for this month, Ms. Surely Herndon. She's having her birthday this month and also her son Kelly Herndon, the father of two of my grandsons. And as far as condolences are concerned, heavy heart I learned yesterday that a former Fire Service colleague, firefighter brother Leonard lamb transition yesterday, what a great man he was. This guy was always cool, calm and collected, firefighter hazmat tech, worked out of station three over on Washington, and Rancho and again, just just a great soul. So to his wife, Linda and the rest of the family. We expressed our deepest and warmest condolences to you guys. It's going to be a great loss. But we will not forget Leonard lad. He was the second president of the Black firefighters for the city of Las Vegas. He came in right after I left. I did it for four years to four year terms. And he came in right behind me and did an excellent job. So again, we'll miss Leonard. This is a day in this month where we will celebrate and acknowledge veteran so I thought it would be appropriate to bring someone on who I know did a lot of work for veterans when she served in our Congress. So former Congresswoman, Miss Shelley Berkley, how are you?

Unknown Speaker 2:54
I'm very well. Thank you, Chief. It's good to hear your voice again. For sure. I

Unknown Speaker 2:58
got it. I got a few questions for you one. And I know others know, but I want to make sure that our listening audience is well aware of who you are born and raised where?

Unknown Speaker 3:08
Well, I was born in upstate New York. Well, actually not that's not true. I was born on the Lower East Side of New York. When I was two years old, my parents moved to upstate New York. And when I was 12, we moved to Las Vegas. So I am as close to a native Las Vegas as you can come. I did junior high school, high school and college here in Las Vegas. I went to John C. Fremont junior high school. I was part of the first graduating class at Valley High School and the first person in my family to go to college at Nevada Southern University before it became UNLV.

Unknown Speaker 3:53
Oh, wonderful. You got some history here. So. So you started your political career? In what year? Because I know you've you've done a number of things as far as public offices because?

Unknown Speaker 4:09
Yes, well, and before I ran for public office, I was running for office anyway, I was student body Secretary of Valley High School Student Body President of UNLV. And my first office that my public office that I ran for was the Nevada State Assembly in 1982. Then, of course, you know, I served on the University Board of Regents, where it was very important to keep tuition low. Because most of the people that go to UNLV are just like me, were first generation college goers working and going to school, some people raising a family on top of that. So low tuition is very, very important for the people that go to our public universities. And then of course, I spent seven terms in the United States Congress. And I finished in 23rd, January of 2013. I was back home.

Unknown Speaker 5:14
Okay. I know during your, your time in that office of Congress, you did some things. And I wish you just kind of bring those forward. Because I think there's a lot of folks out there now listening artists that may not be aware of some of the accomplishments that you made, and carried out in the name of military veterans.

Unknown Speaker 5:35
Well, I appreciate that very much. Before I won my first race to Congress, the veterans organizations, kind of adopted me. And they started spending time with me and explaining and sharing with me what the challenges are for the veterans population. And so by the time I got to Congress, in 1999, I was elected in November of 98, I had a pretty good idea of what the veterans not only in in the southern Nevada area, but throughout the United States where we're facing. So I, my first, my first committee assignment in Congress was on the Veterans Affairs Committee. So I became quite an advocate, a strong advocate for veterans, I think this country, you know, we very easily send people to defend this nation, and to serve in our military, we don't often take care of those same people that we sent to, to defend us. We don't take very good care of them when they come back to this country after their service. And there's a number of issues. But perhaps, the thing I'm most proud of, is I got the funding for the VA hospital in North Las Vegas, which was a part of my congressional district, when I was in Congress, so I am very proud of that facility. We had, it's one of the finest in the country, we serve our veterans, they get the best possible health care. And that if you asked me what the one thing that I'm proudest of, in the seven terms that I served in Congress, it would be bringing that VA hospital to Southern Nevada. But in addition to that, and you know, these issues as well as I do. During my time in Congress, we were engaged in the Iraq War and the Afghan war. And when people came home, some of our men and our women that were in service, came home to a much different world. And they don't, they don't realize when they first get out some of the challenges that they're going to face once they're back into civilian life. And so there's a lot of PTSD, unemployment, homelessness, and all of these things must, must be corrected by this by our government. And our veterans issues are not only a federal issue, it's a state issue. It's a county issue. And it's a local issue, because these people deserve our gratitude for the sacrifices they have made. And Dave, in addition to that, and their families, we owe are those military families a debt of gratitude, but the sacrifices they have made for their loved ones in service,

Unknown Speaker 8:47
ditto to what you've said, in fact, I've always said anytime I get a public forum to talk about what we need to do and what we haven't done, and you just really echoed those same sentiments that American who could do a lot better in taking care of those who have gone to war for her. So we got to step it up, you guys and thank you for saying that. And again, I've been out to that facility. I've had family members out there it is a top notch facility, talking about the Veterans Hospital for sure.

Unknown Speaker 9:15
You are so right. I mean state of the art with prosthetic devices, state of the art with so many different services that are provided by that facility. And I think it is exactly what our men and women in service deserve when they come home. My father served in World War Two, obviously, you know, he was in the Navy, that he loved his service, loved his country, but he received health care at that VA hospital and I was very happy to be able to make sure that my dad got very good care. My husband He was in the Army during the Vietnam era. He was a doctor in the army. So he took care of our men and women that were coming home stateside with a variety of of serious medical challenges.

Unknown Speaker 10:15
Your husband is still doing well, because he's my kidney doctor, looking as we as we prepare to close, former congressman, what are you doing right now anything you'd like to share with our audience before we close out, and I appreciate you coming up

Unknown Speaker 10:29
really nice of you. Yes, I've decided to run for mayor of Las Vegas, I am very, very excited about the prospect of leaving this extraordinary city that is been the hometown to now for generations of my family. There is nothing happening in the city of Las Vegas, that I didn't help with when I was in Congress, because my congressional districts overlaid the city of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. I'm part of the county but I know Las Vegas. Well, I know the people that call Las Vegas home. And I'm very excited to roll up my sleeves and and serve them. As you know, de for many years, I believe in public service. It's the price I pay for living in this country. And I look forward to if I'm lucky enough to be elected the next mayor of the city of Las Vegas, as you know, from my prior elected offices, you know, I devote myself entirely to the people I represent, and always put their interests above my own. And I'm looking forward to doing that again.

Unknown Speaker 11:39
Excellent. Well, I'll say this, as we close, you know, for those of you who don't know, when I became fire chief when I was appointed, the congressman was one of the ones who came and spoke there. I had about 10 people, they said, Who do you want to speak, I started looking at different people that I've known in the community who've done good things for folks. And I recall, and I appreciate it. I'm sure some people say he probably paid her to say that. No, I didn't. She knows me from the community. Well, Congresswoman, thank you so much. And we appreciate you. We'll get you back on sometime. Because I think you have a lot to offer, particularly to our veterans who have served this country. So thank you so much for your time.

Unknown Speaker 12:19
Thank you so much for having me on. And you have a great day. All right, take care. Bye bye,

Unknown Speaker 12:26
buy buy. Once again, this is Veterans Affairs plus on 91.5 Jazz in.

Unknown Speaker 12:37
Good morning, once again, this is Veterans Affairs plus on 91.5 Jazz and my second guest is Mr. Richard Jack the third. I'll have him to introduce himself after I straightened up a mess that I made initially with our first guest and that is express condolences to the family of a dear friend Leonard Leonard Leonard lead was a second president of the Black firefighters for the city of Las Vegas. I served two terms, those two terms came to four years it was two year terms. So I think I would I not not think I know I said I did for four year term. And that's not true. So I want to straighten that up. Mr. Richard, Jack, tell us a little bit about yourself, please, because I know our listening audience. You have been on the show a couple of times. But just to refresh for those who may not have gotten that background on you. Please, sir,

Unknown Speaker 13:32
yes, sir. Yeah, I do achieve. Really Jack. I am a retired Air Force. 20 years plus. I run a program called gentleman our choice. Along with ladies, what choice will we teach us? The power of mindset, leadership in a financial management and etiquette training. And I live up in your north part of the valley we'd have to be on today.

Unknown Speaker 13:59
Excellent. Excellent. And your colleague in setting this up as also as well. He is a school teacher my career.

Unknown Speaker 14:10
actually miss dantas pulling me right now he works at Matt Keller. He is a native of Nevada. And we've been doing this program for probably going on 14 years. And we've had some great experiences. We've seen a lot of youth come through the program, and have had tremendous success in what we do. We love what we do. We're in the community. And we're really attached to schools. And we're trying to get more involved in doing some more community work because we know what it's needed.

Unknown Speaker 14:40
Absolutely. In fact, when the rich invited me over to a class that he was conducting with some young men and anyone certainly I was and I know that anyone who might go and just witness see what they're doing. You will be very very impressed because These young men, you could tell their will discipline. And I think that's the key to success for anyone male or female, black or white, is to have a certain level of discipline. So you can keep yourself and as I mentioned to those young men, when he gave me an opportunity spoke, I'm not perfect. I was in trouble as a young man, as well, you know, but the key is, what are you gonna do? Are you gonna straighten up? Are you gonna keep going down this, this ugly, rough road. And certainly, as I mentioned to them, from what I know about education, those and the prison system, those who are in there, most of them don't have a minimum of a high school education. So what you guys are doing over there with that program, I think it's going to have a great impact. And certainly, no one's expecting you guys. Brother wants to save them all. But if you save some, and I watch how I'm watching how these young men interact with one another, they're watching those who are who speak well. And you can see that there, man, I got it, I can do that. And you can see their confidence level coming up just by the different things you have them doing. And I'm watching these different scenarios and different things you had them do. And I, I know as a, as an instructor, I was a fire service instructor and instruct, also down at the car homes executive development institute. And particularly with young people, you gotta keep them engaged. And I watched how you did that masterfully. And I trust that you do it with with all the classes that you guys have. Very, very important.

Unknown Speaker 16:46
Thanks for that. And I think the key for me is, I'm passionate about what I do. So it comes, it comes a little bit natural. To me, the biggest thing that I enjoy about this is that you get a chance to try to see, and we nurture to see good things grow. But we give them a platform and think for themselves, to cause them to become independent thinkers. And more importantly, let them know that even though they're a child, they still can make the right decision as far as circumstances.

Unknown Speaker 17:17
Absolutely. And I notice how when someone made a mistake, or didn't do something correctly, everybody paid a price. You had them doing push ups, and I'm like, I recall. I'm sure you're familiar with our deceased friend. I called him he was an intellectual, as far as I'm concerned. So very bright. And so Sam Smith, Deputy Fire Marshal out of Clark County Fire Department. And Sam helped to get a lot of people on the fire department he got helped him to get prepared. And I never saw it, but I heard about it. When you give the wrong answer, Sam make you do push up the one guy. So that's why I won't go back. I see. And that's why you you didn't make it. You know, I think it's important. He was just, yeah, he was being somewhat hard on you. But that's what it takes. Sometimes. That's what it takes.

Unknown Speaker 18:12
Yeah, absolutely. We make it we make it a game. Because it's not, it's not a punitive response. It is more of, hey, this is the standard that we set for ourselves to include me, right. So that way, it's not just about them. It's also me involved in the process. But it's a way of encouraging behavior modification and to raise awareness. And that's what the program really does. It raises their consciousness level about how they're showing up in these different environments as gentlemen, and not just young boys. And I think that when we put a label on my child, and we say he's a kid, or he's a boy, I think we minimize their potential. And GVCS goal is to maximize both for our young ladies and young men.

Unknown Speaker 18:55
And, again, you're doing that's the first time that I actually witnessed how you guys run the program. I had gone to a couple of meetings that you guys had over. And I'm assuming you still have the office over in the plaza. And if not, that's where I saw you guys kind of you were planning things that you were planning to initiate with these young men. And now how long so how long have the women's arm of this been going?

Unknown Speaker 19:24
It's probably been about five years it started in Hawaii and a we came back came back at 2018 and establish that one of the schools and because the young ladies are saying we need to see not exactly the same with something similar because we want to know what you're teaching them. And it's been a blessing to be able to expose that to them. We're not teaching anything, that's rocket science, but we are going way some additional foundational information that will be beneficial at all.

Unknown Speaker 19:54
I find it very interesting. So it didn't start in Las Vegas. As far as the women part the young lady Oh, that actually started in a way you say?

Unknown Speaker 20:04
Yeah, I was I was coming back from when I went over my second year Ye, I was I put the program and the first show was then a second year, probably about 10/4, or fifth graders called me because I was a school counselor. And actually, can they have a conversation with me? You know? Exactly. And their conversation was, you're teaching the boys? Can you do something for the females? And I said, Well, I never thought about it. But let me try it out. And I took the same curriculum, I modified my approach a little bit to adjust to their, their needs. And I brought some female faculty members in the program with me to kind of guide me and help me understand what they were requesting. And then when we got to areas that I needed a female's perspective, they weighed in on it. And more importantly, which still my choice looks at is how do we model those behaviors. So not only did it have me speaking, we had different leaders in the community that were female coming in and address the young ladies. And they got a chance to see different perspectives across the board. And a lot of our young ladies in the program are followers. And then we brought it back to Vegas, and we received the same kind of welcoming, kind of same kind of input.

Unknown Speaker 21:22
Excellent, I think that it was certainly wise on your part, because women have a different sensitivity about certain things that guys don't necessarily, if it's not brought to the attention, man. I know, in my case, because sometimes my you know, I got three girls. They told me, I'm too impatient. I'm always, you know, ripping in and running. And, you know, and I, and I won't wait long enough for them to explain something to me, you know, like the, that short version of Reader's Digest, what did he call? Or what's the other word cliff notes, you know, give me give it to me. I don't need all of that. And it is to drive him crazy, Daddy, you need to slow down. But no, that's excellent man that you had the the wherewithal and the wisdom to say, You know what, let me bring in some women that will help me to know what I need to know, in terms of addressing and dealing with the needs of young women. So we're proud of you, man, you and your colleague, man for for doing this man, because I, I just know that it's absolutely essential that we do things, as you said, to grow, you know, you, you plant. And then you cultivate, if you don't cultivate, you know, the weeds will grow wild man. So you always have to keep your eyes and ears on, they remember you, you touch these lives, man. And you again, we won't say them all. But as long as we give an effort. And again, I'm gonna keep preaching and encouraging fellows that I know that have some time to come and help out me and come and let their faces be seen in some of these schools where you guys are opening up your program. So you got that commitment from me. I'm going to continue to help you guys promote it for you. Now as far as the young lady who apparently for sure, apparently, who is not going to call? Have you any idea that of what she's trying to get promoted? That you can say a few words before we close out today?

Unknown Speaker 23:26
Absolutely. Every year Gentleman by choice. I can look we apply that with the other individuals that are there. We get together we do a Christmas program for the you okay. And we partner as a as a center. And the individuals that are included in that is a five star tax, LLC, the nucleus Pfizer, we legal Hi, LLC, and everyone else has decided to Plaza we have the bully buses is going to be there. And a couple Nevada community connection there'll be there. So we come together as a community. And we supply toys and refreshments and things of that nature. We give out toys. This year the event is going to be Saturday, December 23. From 12 to 3pm. At the nucleus Plaza. We asked people to show up, bring your children out. We're probably going to have I think the last count we had was close to 500,000 toys if I'm not mistaken. Maybe more or less. I don't have the exact numbers right but let's call her she and I had a conversation and she and Michela phone fivestar text they had a conversation and they came down said hey, you know you're we value in the community. We see what you do with the kids. How about we do something in the community bring attention to the spirit of Christmas the holiday season and bringing the community together. So they started this tradition about maybe four or five years ago. And so every year we come together as a class. And we make that happen for the kids in the community for the families and community. And it's our way of giving back and saying, Hey, we appreciate some of the things that they're going through. But we can do something to help. This is what it's all about for us.

Unknown Speaker 25:19
Absolutely. So give me those dates again, because, you know, I got a few more shows this month, and I'll make sure that I at least mentioned it a few times. And doesn't have a picture between December 23.

Unknown Speaker 25:33
December 23, between 12 three to

Unknown Speaker 25:37
three, and nucleus Plaza. Parking lot.

Unknown Speaker 25:42
Parking lot. Yes, sir.

Unknown Speaker 25:43
So you guys have been doing this for a number of years. And everybody in the plaza just kind of pulled together to kind of help children out in terms of just celebrating in providing them some of the needs that they may have in terms of gifts, etc. And it's a group effort.

Unknown Speaker 26:03
It's about unification. Exactly. It's about unification and coming together and working together in unity as a team to make this happen for our community. You.

Unknown Speaker 26:14
Excellent. Well, I appreciate you filling in for her. She missed a golden opportunity. But I think that as long as we get it covered, that's the key. And we will make sure that we make statements about this on more of our other shows, as we go through the month of November, where we acknowledge particularly on the 11th our veterans, and you are one I am one and the service that was provided in this week, we talked with the Congressman Prouty, you're arriving. As my second guest, we talked about how America should do a better job in terms of taking care of for military personnel who've gone off to to defend his country, defend our, our democracy, etc. Yet, sometimes we don't do what we need to do in terms of taking care of, there's a lot of homeless veterans out there. So we got to continue to work. And I appreciate you for all that you're doing. And we'll continue to do. And again, you and Antinous have my commitment to assist you guys and tell them folks about the great work that is done. But not only what you guys are doing, cuz I know you can get burnout man dealing with with anybody, let alone them being young folks who are full of full of full, full of energy. So I'm gonna do what I can to assist you guys and continue to promote, and encourage others to come out and participate. By way of doing some work, not just money's important, but sometimes you need people's time to, to come in and help out a little bit. Five final remarks before statements before we close out. And again, I appreciate you coming.

Unknown Speaker 28:00
No worries and I just wanted to clarify something. The reason why they call me coach is because I am a personal development coach. And so what we did was we embedded personal development into what Gentleman by choice has done so now we're not doing mentorship, we're actually coaching them on how to be better individuals. And I wanted to draw that distinction because anybody can mentor to to a degree right? But to have somebody come beside you and coach you from a loving spirit and give you direction that you can bounce ideas off of and have conversation and kind of give direction. I think it takes on a different meaning when you're actually have a curriculum that challenges the way they think about things and how to think about things differently from a personal personal development perspective. Absolutely. But I appreciate you having me on I wanted to share that. Please continue to promote this and have the people come on down on December 23 is partaking in the festivities.

Unknown Speaker 28:57
This is Veterans Affairs plus on 91.5 Jazz and more we appreciate the former Congresswoman Shelley Berkley coming on the show today as well as Richard check the third appreciate it.

Unknown Speaker 29:40
The smoking

Unknown Speaker 29:45

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Veteran's Affairs Plus W/ David L. Washington November 4, 2023
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