Governor Ricketts Holds Welcome Home Event for Recently Released Service Members

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Press release :

Governor Ricketts Holds Welcome Home Event for Recently Released Service Members

Governor Ricketts (podium) and NDVA Director John Hilgert at the 2022 Veterans Welcome Home event.

Photos of the Welcome Home picnic are available by clicking here.

LINCOLN– On Wednesday evening, Governor Pete Ricketts hosted the 2022 Veterans Welcome Home event at Governor’s Residence in Lincoln. Service members who have discharged in the past year were invited, along with their families, to attend the picnic in the yard with food, games and tables from exhibitors from alumni service organizations Nebraska fighters, Nebraska state recruiters and others. A total of more than 150 people attended the event, co-hosted by the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs (NDVA) and Walmart.

“The men and women who served to protect our nation deserve a warm welcome as they return home from their duty,” Governor Ricketts said. “It is an honor to meet with our recently released service members and their families to thank them for their sacrifice, hear their stories and plans for the future, and encourage them to stay with us here in Nebraska to enjoy ‘The Good Life ‘.”

Various veteran service organizations were present at the event to share information about benefits for veterans and their family members, opportunities for networking and joining veteran organizations, and resources. for the employment of veterans. The Capital Humane Society was on hand with two dogs to help promote the Vets Get Pets program, which provides funds to help veterans adopt pets.

“Since Governor Ricketts started the Welcome Home Picnic with our agency in 2016, it has grown every year,” said NDVA director John Hilgert. “We’re seeing more new Nebraska veterans and their families, which allows our agency to connect with more veterans, showcase the myriad of service organizations out there to help them, and offer a special “thank you” on behalf of Nebraska for their service.”


During his administration, Governor Ricketts worked with the Legislative Assembly and veterans’ groups to support Nebraska’s military families and veterans. Below are some examples of how Governor Ricketts is making Nebraska a more veteran-friendly state:

  • Signed LB 387 to allow 100% of military retirement pay to be exempt from Nebraska income tax.
  • Signed LB 389, which makes it faster and easier for military spouses licensed in another state to obtain a teaching license after moving to Nebraska.
  • Launched the Military Spouse Transition Program in April 2021 to help military spouses relocating to Nebraska identify employment opportunities within the state government.
  • Launching the Veterans’ SkillBridge Initiative in April 2021. Overseen by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the program connects Nebraska employers with service 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 status on their operator’s license or state ID card.
  • Expanded hiring preference for the State of Nebraska to include military spouses.
  • Signed LB 340 to make the Department of Veterans Affairs a one stop shop for veterans benefits and homes.
  • Creation of five additional military honor license plates to recognize the service of members of the Armed Forces Reserves.
  • Signing of Rule 21 allowing military spouses to receive a three-year teaching permit in Nebraska with a valid out-of-state license.
  • Ensured reciprocity for military spouses nationwide by updating language for adoption of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows nurses to be multi-state licensed.
  • Signed LB 12e which allows active duty military personnel or their spouses to be licensed real estate agents in Nebraska without paying a license fee if they have a valid real estate agent license in another state.
  • Signed LB 115 which allows military families reassigned to Nebraska to pre-register with a school district.
  • Signed LB 122nd allowing a veteran, spouse, or dependents to qualify as residents for post-secondary education purposes if the veteran is in vocational rehabilitation.
  • Passed several professional licensing reforms in LB88e (2017):
    • Authorized DHHS, with the recommendation of the appropriate board, to issue temporary licenses for occupations regulated under the Uniform Credentials Act to military spouses.
    • The Nebraska Supreme Court also approved a new rule that gives active duty military spouses greater flexibility to practice law in Nebraska.

Photos of the Welcome Home ceremony are available by clicking here.

About Marilyn Perkins

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