Randy Couture is a veteran of the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division and the UFC. Since his first fight in 1997, Randy Couture has won 6 UFC Championship Titles. To this day he is the only UFC competitor to hold titles in both the Heavyweight and Light-Heavyweight divisions. Randy Couture has shifted his focus from fighting to help other Veterans and retired athletes by founding the Las Vegas Chapter of Merging Vets and Players (MVP).
Local 872 has joined Randy Couture and MVP supporting a “program designed to address challenges that many combat veterans and professional athletes face when transitioning their service/professional life towards a new mission in their civilian life.” Local 872 and community partners support creating such a place for veterans and athletes. Xtreme Couture MMA located on 4055 W Sunset Rd opens to Veterans free of charge every Thursday to train and help each other continue to build fulfilling lives of service and strength.
“The goal of this is to give them a new team to tackle the transition together.” – Randy Couture
MVP’s program is geared around Veteran’s and athlete’s shared strengths and experiences.
Former Combat Veterans and former professional athletes are matched for “weekly physical fitness and peer-to-peer support sessions … The goal of this is to give them a new team to tackle the transition together.” Randy Couture also thanked the members of Local 872 for their constant support of Veterans issues. While attending the February Monthly Meeting at the Local 872 Training Center, Couture said twenty to thirty Veterans a week benefit from having MVP in Las Vegas. “Getting them working out again breaks down some walls [and] gets them feeling a little better about themselves” according to Couture who has led MVP programs in Las Vegas for the past year.
Creating a place that plays to the strengths of Veterans helps reintroduce them to civilian life. When recognizing the Local 872 Executive Board Randy Couture said Veterans “are not broken, [but] are special, [and] telling them they are broke is not the way to get through to them.” The Executive Board of Local 872 has branched out into many Veterans programs ranging from MVP to Veteran’s Village and Local 872’s own Helmets to Hardhats initiative.
Many important topics are discussed at Monthly Meetings. New opportunities and jobs are introduced, and special guests also visit with exciting news. Over the past months, Governor Brian Sandoval brought thanks and encouragement for Local 872’s role in bringing the Raiders to Las Vegas. Attorney General candidate Wes Duncan visited the Union’s Thanksgiving Celebration during the November Monthly Meeting. He spoke about his Father’s decades-long Union career, and how it shaped a tradition of public service.
In addition to seeing fellow members and enjoying special guests, Monthly Union Meetings are the place to hear the latest Local 872 news first. A lot of work goes into putting these meetings on. In order to host 300 members the Hall needs to be set up and technical preparations need to be made. Many volunteers spend days leading up to the meeting setting up chairs and coordinating refreshments. Others get to the Hall three hours before the Meeting to make sure everything goes smoothly. Meetings are generally the first Monday of each month, except for June which will be on the 11th and September when there is no monthly meeting due to Labor Day. All meetings and contractual holidays are featured in Local 872’s 2018 Calendar. If you did not receive your calendar in the mail call the Local Union Hall to update or confirm your address.
On the night of October 1st, gunfire was reported on the Las Vegas Strip. Over the next twelve hours hospitals would exceed their capacities, the Regional Transportation Commission would shuttle people to safety, and Local 872 sprang into action. While the scene was still active, Business Manager Tommy White called Commissioner Steve Sisolak. Following that conversation, the Union Clinic was ordered open at 3:30 am to accept the first blood donations. Ten sterile rooms were ready by 4:15 am for over 100 donors already in line. The need for blood quickly increased and Local 872 moved operations to United Blood Services on Charleston Boulevard at 5:30 am.
By 8:00 am clinicians were working at full capacity and donations were arriving by the truck-full. All available personnel from the Southern Nevada Laborers Training Facility were called to assist with logistics and manage contributions outside. Safety vests for directing traffic and additional tents to shelter donors arrived from the Union Hall. Soon after, Calls were received from locations in need of donated items. Distribution plans were made to provide relief to locations such as the Metropolitan Police Headquarters and Valley Hospital Medical Center.
Local 872 continues to stand by first responders. Following one of the most challenging weeks in Nevada history. Local 872 partnered with The Latin Chamber of Commerce, Nevada Contractors Association, and the Raiders in hosting a successful event at University Medical Center. Hundreds of doctors, first responders and patients attended the cookout. Volunteers from Local 872 helped with every detail of the event. “With what these people have been through this is the least we can do. It is important to join Commissioner Sisolak and thank them for their service. Not just during hard times, but whenever possible” one member of Local 872 said after volunteering.