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ELKO – Want to know more about veteran benefits? Follow new Veterans Resource Center mobile outreach vehicle to their offices at Great Basin College.

The vehicle is styled with a colorful vinyl wrap featuring two Great Basin College student veterans and college president Joyce Helens and a digital screen that can be customized with messages and photographs from a remote location.

Made possible by a grant from Nevada Office of Science, Innovation and Technology, the outreach vehicle was designed in the hopes of inspiring veterans to stop by the VRC and learn how to access their benefits, said Jacob Park, VRC coordinator.

“We did this to provide more outreach to veterans and their families/dependents about what we do and why they should use the benefits they have earned,” Park said.

To illustrate education benefits, veterans and recent GBC graduates Tony Frazier and Michelle Milam are pictured, with Milam on graduation day with Helens.

Bringing the outreach vehicle to life was a community effort, starting with the donation of a moving van from the Elko Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2350, Park explained.

The Lamoille Women’s Club organized donations of time, labor and materials from businesses and organizations.

Elko Glass installed a new windshield and wiper blades; Collision Auto Body painted the body of the van; and Busted Knuckle Auto Repair serviced the engine, transmission and performed a safety check.

A donation from PACE Coalition contributed $2,500 for the vinyl wrap and a past contribution from the Carlin American Legion Post 32 for the VRC’s outreach needs paid for a public address system for the van.

Nevada Signs and Advertising put the finishing touches on the van, applying the wrap and installing the digital screen.

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Barrick Gold Corp., which funds Operation Bravo for student veteran internships and the internship coordinator position, covered some of the cost of the van’s vinyl wrap with their funding for outreach and marketing materials, Park said.

Operation Bravo, named in honor of Elko native and Marine Lance Cpl. Raul Bravo who was killed in Iraq in 2007, was launched in 2017 to give student veterans a boost in obtaining their degree with job experience.

“It helps defray the costs of living while at school, but at the same time allows them to network and gain valuable experience in their chosen disciplines,” Park said.

Having the vehicle point to Operation Bravo and other programs for veterans is the real purpose of the colorful signage, Park said.

“We have a lot of great programs for student veterans at Great Basin College,” Park said.

The Veterans Resource Center is located in McMullen Hall at Great Basin College 1500 College Pkwy. For information call 775-753-2346.

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Courts, schools & Spring Creek reporter

Staff writer for the Elko Daily Free Press

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