Brett Palmer

The Nevada Society of Scottish Clans proudly presents its 2017 Silver Thistle Award recipient, Brett Palmer of Clan Scott ancestry.

Brett joined the Marine Corps immediately after high school, but his tour was cut short by an injury.  A couple of years later he began a 36-year career in law enforcement.  His first positions were in Idaho and Utah before being hired by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada where he served the last 18 years as patrol deputy in Fernley.  

Soon after retiring from the Sheriff’s Office in 2008, he became president of the Nevada Veteran’s Coalition (IRS recognized charitable organization) - a full-time position he still holds today.  The purpose of the Coalition is to support and provide services to the Northern Nevada Memorial Cemetery near Fernley and to assist local veterans. 

One of the first things that Brett formed after becoming president was an Honor Guard for all veteran interments in the memorial cemetery.  The unit, which consists of Coalition volunteers, provides about 300 military honor style burial services annually.  Besides the highly precision honor guard, the service includes a color guard, chaplain, vocalist, and rifle team.

As chief administrator, Brett coordinates the Coalition’s Memorial Day activities, laying of wreaths in December, and the interment of unaccompanied or unclaimed remains.  Over 3,600 people attended the Coalition’s Memorial Day at the cemetery last year, making it the largest such ceremony in the state.  Last month, 1,700 volunteers in conjunction with the national Wreaths Across America project, placed 7,500 wreaths on all of the headstones in the cemetery.  The Coalition partners with the national Missing in America Project in locating unclaimed cremated remains of American veterans in mortuaries, identifying them and providing proper interment.  To date, the Coalition has interred 44 unclaimed remains in the cemetery.  In addition, each month the Coalition performs honor services for unaccompanied remains of veterans that the memorial cemetery receives from throughout the nation.

Besides his burial responsibilities, Brett also coordinates the Coalition’s participation in the Certified Nevada Veteran Advocate program that provides guidance to Nevada’s veterans.  Lastly, he directs the Coalition’s Heroes Hand Up House in Fernley, a program he created, that provides temporary housing for deserving veterans and their families in transition from the military to civilian life. 

It is for this service to our veterans that Brett Palmer was selected as the Society’s 2017 Scot-of-the-Year.