Veterans Crisis Line: dial 988 then press 1
Official Nebraska Veterans' Affairs Seal

Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs

Gov. Ricketts Honors Veterans on Purple Heart Day

Gov. Ricketts and NDVA Director John Hilgert recognize Purple Heart  recipients in the Warner Chamber of the State Capitol.(August 7, 2019) — On Wednesday, Governor Pete Ricketts welcomed recipients of the Purple Heart to the State Capitol for a proclamation signing ceremony.  At the event, the Governor declared August 7th as Purple Heart Day in Nebraska.

“The freedoms we enjoy have been secured by the courageous sacrifices of generations of Americans,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “It’s fitting that we honor the Purple Heart veterans in our midst and cherish the memory of the many heroes who are no longer with us.”

August 7th is Purple Heart Day each year in the United States.  It recognizes soldiers who were wounded in combat and received the medal.  It also honors soldiers killed in action who posthumously received a Purple Heart, accepted by their family.

“We take time today to honor America’s combat wounded as well as those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and never returned home,” said Nebraska Department of Veterans’ Affairs (NDVA) Director John Hilgert.  “Today we recognize and honor those who have received that distinction, but every day we will be grateful for their sacrifice.”

This evening, the State Capitol will be lit in purple to commemorate Purple Heart Day.  


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

  • Merging NDVA and the Division of Veterans’ Homes to create a one-stop shop for veterans’ services in Nebraska.
  • Approving a 20 percent pay increase for staff care technicians working for NDVA.
  • Expanding the hiring preference in Nebraska to include spouses of service members.
  • Cutting red tape on a key property tax exemption for veterans if no change in medical condition has occurred.
  • Creating five additional Military Honor License Plates to recognize the service of members of the reserves of the armed forces.
  • Approving revisions to Rule 21, allowing military spouses to receive a three-year teaching permit in Nebraska with a valid out-of-state license.
  • Signing legislation to allow members of the National Guard and Reserve, as well as Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officers with active or reserve service, to designate veteran’s status on their operators’ licenses or state I.D. cards.
  • Signing legislation to permit active duty military members or their spouses to be licensed realtors in Nebraska without having to pay the licensing fee, provided they have a valid realtor’s license in another state.
  • Signing legislation to provide 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.
  • Signing legislation to establish the right of military families reassigned to Nebraska to preliminarily enroll in a school district. 
  • Signing legislation to allow a veteran, their spouse, or dependents to qualify as residents for post-secondary tuition purposes if the veteran is receiving vocational rehabilitation.
  • Signing legislation to authorize the Department of Health and Human Services to issue temporary licenses for occupations regulated under the Uniform Credentialing Act to military spouses.
  • Building a new state-of-the-art Central Nebraska Veterans’ Home, which is providing world-class accommodations to hundreds of Nebraska veterans.