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Gov. Ricketts Hosts Welcome Home Event for Recently Discharged Service Members

Media Contacts:  

Justin Pinkerman, Governor’s Office, 402-471-1967

Holden Armstrong, Veterans’ Affairs, 402-219-1704


Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts Hosts Welcome Home Event for Recently Discharged Service Members


Gov. Ricketts and NDVA Director John Hilgert present Welcome Home challenge coins  to recently discharged servicemembers at the 2021 Welcome Home event.


Gov. Ricketts (at right in tie) and NDVA Director John Hilgert (far left) present Welcome Home challenge coins

to recently discharged servicemembers at the 2021 Welcome Home event.


LINCOLN – On Thursday evening, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted the 2021 Veterans Welcome Home event.  Over 40 service members who have been discharged over the past two years were in attendance, along with their family members.  The event was co-hosted by the Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs (NDVA) and Walmart. 


“Our service members are dedicated to our country and deserve our gratitude for their sacrifices,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “As we welcome them home, we also thank their families for being a source of encouragement and support.  Now more than ever, the State of Nebraska is supporting our returning veterans through career opportunities, continuing education, and other services.  We want them here enjoying the Good Life.”


Various veterans’ service organizations were also at the event to share information on benefits for veterans and their family members, opportunities for networking and veteran organization membership, and resources for veteran employment.


“I always look forward to the Welcome Home event and getting to meet with Nebraska’s newest veterans and their families,” said NDVA Director John Hilgert.  “It’s great to hear their stories and welcome them back to Nebraska, and it’s also an opportunity to make them aware of all the benefits and services available to them and their families and encourage them to plant roots in Nebraska.”




Over the past few years, Governor Ricketts has worked with the Legislature and veterans’ groups to support Nebraska’s military families and veterans.  Below are a few examples of how Governor Ricketts is making Nebraska a more veteran-friendly state:


  • Signed LB 387 which allows 100 percent of military retirement pay to be exempted from Nebraska income tax.
  • Signed LB 389 which makes it quicker and easier for military spouses licensed in another state to obtain a teaching permit after moving to Nebraska.
  • Launched the Military Spouse Transition Program in April 2021 to help military spouses moving to Nebraska to identify job opportunities in state government.
  • Started the Veterans’ SkillBridge Initiative in April 2021.  Overseen by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the program creates connections between Nebraska’s employers and military members during their final 180 days of service.  This gives participants a chance to explore the best fit for their specific talents and interests after transitioning out of military service.
  • Signed LB 192 which allows members of the National Guard and Reserve to designate veteran’s status on their operators’ license or state I.D. card.
  • Expanded the hiring preference for the State of Nebraska to include spouses of service members.
  • Signed LB 340 to make the Department of Veterans’ Affairs a one-stop-shop for both veterans’ benefits and veterans’ homes.
  • Created five additional Military Honor License Plates to recognize the service of members of the reserves of the armed forces.
  • Signed Rule 21, allowing military spouses to receive a three-year teaching permit in Nebraska with a valid out-of-state license.
  • Provided reciprocity for military spouses all over the country by updating language for adoption of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows nurses to have one multi-state license.
  • Signed LB 12e which allows active duty military members or their spouses to be licensed realtors in Nebraska without paying a licensing fee if they have a valid realtor’s license in another state.
  • Signed LB 115 which allows military families reassigned to Nebraska to preliminarily enroll in a school district.
  • Signed LB 122e, allowing a veteran, their spouse, or dependents to qualify as residents for post-secondary tuition purposes if the veteran is receiving vocational rehabilitation.

Authorized DHHS, with the recommendation of the appropriate board, to issue temporary licenses for occupations regulated under the Uniform Credentialing Act to military spouses.