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Tribute Wall recognizes Nevada Guard combat veterans

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, left, and Nevada National Guard Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Bill Burks, read the names and units of Nevada Guardsmen who have deployed to combat operations since the Gulf War.  Photo by Nevada Historian Tech. Sgt. Emerson Marcus (RELEASED).

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, left, and Nevada National Guard Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Bill Burks, read the names and units of Nevada Guardsmen who have deployed to combat operations since the Gulf War. Photo by Nevada Historian Tech. Sgt. Emerson Marcus (RELEASED).

CARSON CITY -- A tribute wall with the names of about 2,700 Nevada National Guard Soldiers and Airmen deployed into combat zones since the Gulf War was unveiled Friday at the Office of the Adjutant General in Carson City in conjunction with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval's proclamation designating April 17, 2015, as "Nevada National Guard Combat Veterans Remembrance Day."

"I had the privilege of going to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait and saw the men and women of the Nevada National Guard in theater and it really gives you an appreciation of their service and sacrifice and what they do for us to make sure we can have our freedoms," Sandoval said. "It just makes you so proud. They go through a lot. They are separated from their families and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for all of us. That's what's so important about this memorial."

The tribute wall includes 43 plaques decorated on the back wall of the auditorium at the Office of the Adjutant General.

The idea for the tribute wall came after Chief Warrant Officer 5 Dave Anderson, Nevada's State Command Chief Warrant Officer, visited other states and saw similar tributes honoring combat veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.

"At the end of the day, they deserve it," said Anderson, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, who began spearheading the project for the Nevada National Guard last September. "They were in harm's way and three of them didn't come back. There's been a lot of sacrifice since 2001 and the least we can do, as an organization, is to recognize that. It doesn't immortalize these people, it recognizes them."