The Nevada National Guard unveiled a tribute wall that commemorates the men and women from Nevada who have been deployed into combat zones since Operation Desert Storm.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, Chief Warrant Officer David Anderson, and Brig. Gen. Bill Burks introduced the memorial to nearly three dozen National Guard members and the families of fallen soldiers at the Office of the Adjutant General Friday morning in Carson City.
Anderson started the project nearly eight months ago after he had seen other states do similar memorials for their combat soldiers.
“What you see today are the fruits of his labor,” Burks said. “I’m just glad that it is finally here.”
Before the audience could see the tribute wall, the audience was led in a prayer for the soldiers, and the National Anthem was played.
Anderson also honored seven men and women from state maintenance and the military for their work on the tribute wall.
“Your commitment to combat vets is appreciated,” Anderson said.
Gov. Sandoval then took the audience through Nevada’s military history.
“Since (Nevada’s) founding, one of our proud legacies is that of our uniformed services,” he said to the audience. “Anyone who walks into this building will see the enormous contributions Nevada has made for our country.”
On top, it read “A Tribute to Nevada National Guard Combat Veterans: Operation Desert Storm/Shield Storm, August 7, 1990-February 28, 1991; Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan, September 11, 2001-December 31, 2014; Operation Iraqi Freedom, May 19, 2003-December 31, 2011.”
Underneath were nearly 40 plaques with the names of all the platoons, 6,200 soldiers who were deployed during those wars from the Nevada Army National Guard and Air National Guard and the dates they were deployed and returned home.
After Sandoval, accompanied by Burks and Anderson, cut the rope in front of the wall, he proclaimed April 17 as Nevada National Guard Remembrance Day.
Sandoval and the rest of the attendees then were able to examine the wall and find their names and the names of their loved ones.
Many of the soldiers in the audience had been deployed and were able to find their names and units on the board.
“It is an honor to be able to serve with the other soldiers up there,” State Command Sgt. Maj. Jared Kopacki said after viewing his name twice on the wall. “It’s great because it brings back history and we need to know so that we can learn about our history and look back on it and remember the people up there.”
Follow reporter Taylor Pettaway on Twitter at @TaylorNVAppeal.