Rebel VETS Writers – Fall 2012

Veterans Writing Conference – June 1-2, 2012

NOVS Header
Veterans Writing Conference
Las Vegas – June 2012
The Nevada Office of Veterans Services (NOVS) announces its first regional Veterans Writing Conference to be held June 1-2 in Las Vegas, NV. “We’re inviting veterans and family members to this event from the four state area of Nevada, Arizona, California and Utah,” said Caleb Cage, NOVS Executive Director.
VWC soldier writing origAttendees will be able to attend sessions with a group of well known and well published authors all from varying backgrounds of military life experience and all accomplished authors in creative writing.
“We had so much success with the first two writing projects within Nevada, we believe this free conference could be the catalyst for offering more educational opportunities like this one for veterans and their family members,” said Cage. “With six different notable authors and teachers conducting the two-day sessions, there is a wealth of knowledge and direction to be gained for those who would like to pursue creative writing.”
The conference will be held at New York New York hotel on Las Vegas Strip with space for the first 100 people that register. “This is our first undertaking of this kind with this level of scope. We’re not sure what kind of reception to expect, but if it is anything like the state level efforts, we should have good attendance,” said Cage.
As the NOVS continues to reach out to veterans in various organizations throughout each state, anyone receiving this email is encouraged to forward it through their own email network. “We know there is interest out there and we hope folks will help us spread the word of the conference and we appreciate their time in doing so.”
– Caleb Cage
Date: June 1-2, 2012

Location: New York New York – Las Vegas, NV
Click Herefor registration and conference information

Conference is free to attendees. Space is limited. 
Hotel reservations and food costs are the responsibility of attendees.
Download Conference Flyer for posting.
Conference Speakers

SallySally Drumm served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps from 1978 through 1998. During August 2005, having earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte while participating in a Veterans Administration education program for disabled veterans, Sally founded MilSpeak Creative Writing Seminars, a free creative writing program for military people. In 2009, Sally founded MilSpeak Foundation, a nonprofit organization working to raise awareness about creative works by military people. Through the foundation, Sally operates a number of military focused creative writing outlets. Along with MilSpeak Books, an eBooks publisher, MilSpeak Memo, a literary magazine, and other programs, Sally is a leader in promoting military people in the arts by developing and encouraging creativity among military people.

Lee BarnesH. Lee Barnes lives and writes in Las Vegas, where he teaches English and creative writing at the College of Southern Nevada. In his past lives, he was a soldier, a deputy sheriff, a narcotics agent, a casino dealer, and a martial arts instructor. His short stories have won the Willamette and the Arizona Authors Association fiction awards. Gunning for Ho, his first collection of short stories, was a finalist for the Stephen Turner First Fiction Award offered by the Texas Institute of Letters. In 2009 he was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.

David Abrams’s short stories have appeared in Esquire, Narrative, The Literarian, Connecticut Review, and other literary quarterlies. Abrams had a 20-year career in the active-duty Army as a journalist, was named the Department of Defense’s Military Journalist of the Year in 1994 and received several other military commendations throughout his career. He joined the 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His journal during that year formed the blueprint for the novel which became known as Fobbit, and is scheduled for publishing in 2012. He earned a BA in English from the University of Oregon and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Siobhan Fallon, an army spouse, is the author of You Know When the Men Are Gone, “lean, powerful stories” (NY Times) set at Fort Hood, Texas. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Publishers’ Weekly, Women’s Day, Good Housekeeping, New Letters, and she is currently writing a monthly fiction series for Military Spouse Magazine. She earned her MFA from the New School in New York City.

Pinckney Benedict grew up in the mountains of southern West Virginia. He has published four volumes of fiction; his work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including 2009’s Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform. He is currently at work on a thriller, the protagonist of which is a veteran of combat in Iraq who suffers from traumatic brain injury.

Matt Gallagher joined the U.S. Army in 2005 and received a commission in the armored cavalry. Following a fifteen-month deployment in Iraq, Gallagher left the army as a captain in 2009. The author of the war memoir Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War, he works at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) as a Senior Fellow and is an MFA candidate at Columbia University.

Spring 2012 – Welcome Back!

Welcome back, Rebel Vets!  With classes for the Spring 2012 semester starting next week (17 Jan), the campus is starting to wake up from our Winter Break quiet time.  We’ve seen lots of you in the Office of Veteran Services this week to turn in your Semester Enrollment Forms and get your GI Bill benefits flowing for another semester.  Rest assured that our VA Certifying Official is working hard to have your anticipated payments loaded on MyUNLV by the payment deadline.  Be sure to check your MyUNLV account activity (Finances or Financial Aid tab) to see if it’s been done before you call to check on it…every phone called answered means time not spent processing paperwork.

If you’re looking for a refresher on how the GI Bill works, have general questions about VA policy, or are thinking of changing tracks, you might check out this blog post from the official VA blog, VAntage Point.  Great resources there from a vet who is both a student and working at VA.

If you’re new to campus, please come visit the Office of Veteran Services sometime.  We’d love to meet you and set you up with lots of tools for success.  Also, be sure to reach out to the UNLV Student Veteran Organization when you’re ready to get involved and meet some of your peers.  You’ll find them on Facebook and Twitter (@svounlv) or on the web at

Looking forward to working with you all and here’s to a great 2012!

Rebel VETS Writers – Spring 2012

Here’s another great opportunity for students new to UNLV and looking to get started on your core education requirements!  This 3 credit English 101 class is reserved just for veterans and is on every VA-approved, GI Bill eligible undergraduate degree sheet at UNLV.   Such a great opportunity to get to know fellow veterans while you also knock out an important required class.  Contact Rebel VETS at 702-774-4611 to get released for enrollment!


Bootstraps to Briefcases

9/11 Commemorative Wreath Laying

We had a lovely event this morning to commemorate 9/11 and laid a wreath at the UNLV Veterans Memorial.  We were honored to have so many members of the UNLV campus community join us and appreciate the participation of Air Force ROTC in presenting the colors and wreath and one of our own student veterans, Thomas Brecheisen, in playing the National Anthem and Taps.

Students assemble a flag display in honor of the lives lost on 9/11.
Description of the flag display near CEB.
Flag display near completion.  The finished work included 120 US flags and 12 international flags, each signified the loss of 25 lives.
Joe Sorge, President of the UNLV Student Veterans Organization, sharing thoughts on 9/11.
UNLV Air Force ROTC Honor Guard presents the wreath.
Maj. Ross Bryant, US Army retired, shares memory of 9/11 and perspective on former UNLV Army ROTC cadets still serving on active duty.
Thanks to all who attended this special event.  Don’t forget about the rest of our schedule today.  You can find more information on our Events page.  Hope we will see you later this afternoon!


Like any good military move, this one is progressing quickly by most people’s standards.  We got the keys to our new office on Monday last week and have been making steady improvements every day.  By Tuesday (8/30), all of the major furniture was moved in, Sally was set-up and working here, and Gail is on her way in a day or two.  Now, we’re hanging photos on the walls and generally making the new Office of Veteran Services your new home.

Don’t forget to come by and see our new space in person!  Stop by any time, but especially for our Open House on Sept 8, 2-4pm.  Rumor has it that Sally will be baking an American flag into a cake.  🙂  See you Thursday!

Calling all women veterans!

From researchers at UNLV…

A UNLV lab is currently conducting a study focusing on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the hormonal effects on female military personnel.  This study is being conducted to further the understanding of PTSD within female veterans.  With the large gender difference in PTSD incidence within men and women, understanding the biological effects of PTSD in women may influence better gender specific treatments methods to be developed.

From Rebel VETS…

In other words, the researchers on this study are trying to figure out if female hormones affect the way PTSD is manifested in women and then determine if changes in standard therapies would be more successful for women.  They’re wondering if we could tailor treatment differently for women and men and have more success.

Check out their flyer, below, to learn more and get in touch with the research team to get involved!



Female Veteran PTSD Study

News You Can Use

Thinking of attending UNLV for the 2011-2012 academic year? This recent shift in admissions policy is important info for you.
Undergraduates interested in attending UNLV for the fall 2011 semester must apply by Aug. 1. The deadline for tuition and fee payments for both incoming and current students will remain Aug. 26 for in-person payment or Aug. 28 for online payment.
For more information, please view the FAQ page at

Rebel VETS Writers – ENG101 for the UNLV Military Community

English 101 is a writing intensive course designed to improve critical thinking, reading, and writing skills by providing students practical guidance in writing the short, 3-5 page, focused, thesis-driven, college paper.  Students progress from personal expressive writing to text-based expository essays appropriate for an academic audience.  Students develop strategies for turning their experience, observations, and analyses into evidence suitable for writing in a variety of academic disciplines.  A minimum of four papers and a timed essay exam are required components of the course.

In this special section of English 101, the reading and writing will focus on the experience of the student veteran.  Students will work collaboratively to develop writing skills in a workshop-type environment.  The goal of the course is to offer veterans and military members the opportunity to work on writing skills, while also developing a community of military-minded writers.  This course satisfies the UNLV General Education requirement for English 101 and is covered by the GI Bill.

To register for this section of English 101, please contact Rebel VETS Program Coordinator, Sally Caspers, at 702-774-4611.  You will need to verify your service, either with a DD-214 or active duty/reserve orders, in order to be released for registration.

Course Details:

Course Number: ENG101W-1003

Class Meets:  Tues /Thurs 10am – 11:15am

Instructor:  Homer Simms