“Protecting the Nation Abroad,
Finding Security at Home”
NSF Pays Tribute to Veterans in our Community
Presentation and Discussion with
Misty Vaughan Allen
Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention Coordinator
We got a email from TMCC that we thought brought this presentation into perspective:
TMCC is establishing the Josh Beal Memorial Scholarship Endowment. Josh was an extraordinary young man who joined the Marines at age 17 and became a warfare leader, paratrooper and EMT. He survived four tours between Iraq, Norway, and Afghanistan before acquiring a traumatic brain injury during his last deployment that forced him to leave the military and start a new mission. Josh enrolled at TMCC and worked as a financial aid peer mentor. At age 28, when Josh took his own life, he was only a few credits away from graduating and was he awarded TMCC’s first posthumous degree in 2016. Each day, an average of 22 veterans die by suicide. For some veterans like Josh, coming home doesn’t mean their war is over, it means a new battle and journey begins.
You can learn more about this scholarship here. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“America’s understanding of veterans in recent times can be reduced to two basic narratives: the hero narrative and the victim narrative. The former states that those who have served in uniform are heroes due eternal gratitude, while the latter asserts that those who have served are victims and are due eternal support.” (Caleb Cage from his book War Narratives)
NSF is dedicating our December program to recognizing all veterans in our community and opening a dialogue about what we can do as a community to support those who served after they return. We are honored to have one of our local sons, Iraq war veteran, and accomplished author, Caleb Cage, open the program with his personal and professional thoughts about the challenges and rewards of serving in war and then returning home to Northern Nevada. Caleb shared some of his thoughts on this topic with us at our July 2019 program and in his insightful and timely book War Narratives (Texas A&M University Press, Number 163).
“While victimhood in America is exalted I don’t think our veterans should join those ranks.” (Gen James Mattis, U.S. Marine Corps (ret) in a speech at San Francisco’s Marines’ Memorial Club, April 2014, excerpted from War Narratives by Caleb Cage)
During his July NSF presentation Caleb just scratched the surface of what life can be like for those who have fought hard to protect our nation abroad, only to find peace at home elusive. NSF recognizes that national security is not limited to military, diplomatic, and sociocultural actions by governments in conflicts zones in foreign countries. It is, at the core, also about how communities across America engage in the lifecycle of securing our nation…from serving in the military, to providing returning veterans with jobs, to listening with an open heart and mind as our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and friends process their experiences.
It is in this spirit of recognizing the critical role that veterans make to our society before, during and after their service that NSF is hosting a holiday tribute to those who served and to everyone in our community that has shared their journey. On Caleb’s recommendation, we invited Misty Vaughan Allen, Coordinator for the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention, to speak to us about how family, friends, and all Nevadans can lessen the burden on veterans when they return home to the Silver State. Among her many accomplishments, Misty was named one of the 50 most influential people in health care in 2018 by Time Magazine. Her leadership and innovative programs have helped curb Nevada’s historically high suicide rate.
Caleb and Misty will walk us along paths that can help move our thinking away from the common narratives of heroes and victims to the more rich and nuanced narrative of ‘personal growth’ as the moniker of military service. They will share their understanding about why national security depends not only on our ability to fight wars and build peace abroad, but also on our ability to make the journey home less burdensome for our warriors. Their insight will help our our community, steeped in the Battle Born tradition, grow even stronger as we learn way to make our nation more secure by defending our defenders with empathy, compassion and grace.
Come join us in paying tribute to those who have served, those who are considering military service, and the friends, families, and communities that are an integral part of making our nation more secure.
Caleb S. Cage, was appointed Assistant Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development and Community Colleges at the Nevada System of Higher Education in July 2019. Prior to that he served as Nevada Chief of the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Advisor for four years in the Administrations of Governors Sandoval and Sisolak. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, and a veteran of the war in Iraq. He was commissioned in 2002 as a Field Artillery officer and assigned to the 1st Infantry Division in Bamberg, Germany. During this period, he served as a company executive officer and later as a motorized rifle platoon leader in the city of Baqubah, Iraq. He also served a second tour of Iraq in 2006 as a Corps Information Operations battle captain. After separating from the Army in 2007, Cage served as Senior Policy Advisor to Nevada Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki and in was appointed to serve as Executive Director of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services (NOVS) in 2010. Cage also established Nevada’s Green Zone Initiative, an effort to improve outcomes for veterans. He is the author of several books including, “War Narratives” and “Desert Mementos: Stories of Iraq and Nevada” and co-author of “The Gods of Diyala: Transfer of Command in Iraq.” He holds a Bachelor of Science in American History from United States Military Academy, West Point, and a Master’s in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School. He lives in Reno with his wife and three children.
Misty Vaughan Allen, MA became the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention in December 2005. She works together with local advisory groups and community coalitions, providing oversight and leadership to launch new suicide prevention programs in communities across Nevada. Ms. Allen is currently part of the Mayor’s Challenge Team to address suicide among Service Members, Veterans and their Families. She serves on the Safe and Healthy Schools Commission with the Washoe County School District and is staff to the Committee to Review Suicide Fatalities. Ms. Allen is currently working to bring Crisis Now and the Zero Suicide Initiative to Nevada’s healthcare organizations. Zero Suicide is an aspirational goal supported by robust patient safety activities, quality improvement, and staff support. As the Suicide Prevention Coordinator, she facilitates the development of Nevada’s Suicide Prevention plan consistent with the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Ms. Allen graduated with her Master’s Degree in counseling from the University of Nevada, Reno. She began her journey to prevent suicide as the coordinator for the Suicide Prevention Hotline of Nevada. Ms. Allen advocates for suicide prevention resources to help create change for Nevadans. She is the proud mother of Luke and Madelynne who assist her with preventing suicide across the state.