Local organizations are here to help veterans and their families

As a nation we move into the New Year with much speculation on which way we are heading. One thing that has stayed constant is those serving in our military. Some of you may or may not agree with our nation's missions or how our military is used, but those men and women are still serving and protecting a way of life that many in this world would like to destroy. Those returning home will still need our help fitting back into the civilian world. The following is what I call a refrigerator list. Keep it handy. These organizations are here to help the veteran and their families anyway we can.

Montezuma County Veterans Service Officer, 109 West Main, Attn: MCVSO, Cortez, CO 81321, 970-565-7155. For assistance with veterans claims

American Legion, Ute Mountain Post 75, 320 North Harrison, Cortez, CO 81321; Commander Ken Williams. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. American Legion Ladies Auxiliary meet at the same time each month. For rental information concerning the Legion Hall, call 970-565-8151.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 44, P.O. Box 1448, Cortez, CO 81321; Commander Dan McCuistion. Meetings are held the first Friday of each month at 2 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 320 North Harrison, Cortez, CO 81321.

Disabled American Veterans, Van Transportation, 970-676-1116. For veterans enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs medical system for appointments in Durango, Farmington, and Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Hospital in Albuquerque, N.M. Please call as early as possible for transportation pickup.

Veterans of Foreign Wars, Montezuma County Post 5231, 136 West Grand, (P.O. Box 194) Mancos, CO 81328; Commander Linley Leonard. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at 136 West Grand, Mancos. Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary meet at the same time. For information concerning rental of the Mancos Opera House, call 970-560-1891.

Blue Star Mothers of America, Southwest Chapter 2, P.O. Box 1633, Cortez, CO 81321; President, Sandra Valencia. Meetings are at 6 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday of the month at Jack & Janelle's Country Kitchen in Cortez.

Veterans of Foreign Wars, Troy Young Post 5181, 214 U.S. Hwy. 491 (P.O. Box 428) Dove Creek, CO 81324; Commander David McCuskey. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month. The Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary meet at the same time.

Dolores County Veterans Service Officer, P.O. Box 668, Dove Creek, CO 81324, 970-677-3200. Available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 to 11 a.m.

American Legion, Montelores Post 69, 701 Wedgewood Street, Cortez, CO 81321; Commander Armando Garcia. Meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the Dolores Community Center, 400 Riverside, Dolores, CO 81323.

I would like to thank KSJD Dry Land Community Radio, 2 East Main (P.O. Box 116), Cortez, CO 81321, for giving the veterans a venue to talk about veterans issues the last Friday of each month at 8:30 a.m. on FM 90.5, 91.5, 89.5, 96.3, or 91.1. Tune in each month as we talk about issues that affect veterans in Montezuma County and the surrounding area.

To each and everyone of you veterans that help support and maintain these organizations, thank you. Sometimes it may seem like you are doing a thankless task but your efforts are appreciated. To all the families and volunteers that help these organizations, thank you for your support. To all the employees of the Cortez Journal, thank you for the opportunity to bring veterans' issues to our readers. Without your hard work we would not have a paper to read. To each reader, thanks for reading and may this next year be better than the last. Happy New Year.

Robert Valencia is a retired army veteran, Senior Vice Commander of Montezuma County VFW post 5231, a member of DAV, and a member of the American Legion. Robert can be reached at 560-1891.

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