Sixty-five years ago today, the world -- especially the Pacific Rim countries and islands -- heard the Japanese commands of "Tora, Tora, Tora" as the armies, navy and aircraft of the Imperial Japanese military struck American, Brit----ish and Aus--tralian military outposts.
This is a day to fly your flag at half-staff until sunset in recognition of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
Flu shots at the Grand Junction VAMC will be given during veterans' regularly scheduled primary care appointments running until Dec. 29.
If you don't have a scheduled appointment during this period, go to the front desk between 9 and 11:45 a.m. or between 1 and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Christmas. Post cards should have been received by all veterans getting health care at Grand Junction. To be better served and decrease wait times, plan on arriving for your flu shot if your last name begins with:
A to G -- 9 to 10 a.m.
H to M -- 10 to 11 a.m.
N to S -- 1 to 2 p.m.
T to Z -- 2 to 3 p.m.
Veterans nursing homes
State veterans nursing homes are all now operating in the black. That includes Fitzsimons, which had a long period of deficit spending. On a statewide basis capacity is at 86 percent, with Fitz and Florence leading with 92 percent capacity each.
Several of the homes have been undergoing their surveys. No major shortcomings, and problems have been noted with the minor ones being fixed quickly.
There is a long list of maintenance projects that must be addressed. A quick solution is not forthcoming -- money. Isn't that always the case? The top 10 projects require more than $3.7 million to complete.
All honorably discharged veterans and qualifying widows can use these facilities for long-term nursing care. A very important factor to consider is that their daily prices are all-inclusive so all services provided are included with room and board.
In private nursing homes the standard practice is to add any additional services to the room and board base.
The nearest veterans nursing home is in Rifle at 851 E Fifth St. Take Colorado Highway 13 south, skip the bypass turn and go south toward downtown. Turn left at the Winchester Motel at the Fifth Street traffic light. Go up the hill and bear right. Go to the last building on the right. Check in with the administration desk. For complete information, call (970) 625-0842. The admissions office number is (800) 828-3706. If you wish to speak with families who are using the facility for loved ones, contact me at the office.
The United States is losing between 1,500 to 2,000 World War II veterans per day across the country.
Those who served valiantly more than 60 years ago are in their late 70s or 80s. Old age and health issues are taking their toll. To understand their sacrifices during this global conflict, it is vital that we make a concerted effort to record their personal memories and history during that period.
The textbooks and electronic versions of history list specific facts and dates for the war, but they have lost the personal and individual touch of those who served.
If you are or know a WWII veteran, or a surviving spouse, sit down with them and record their insights and memories before we lose all that information forever. That generation knows and understands the sacrifices that families and communities made, when war affected not only those fighting across the seas, but those on the home front as well.
Veterans seeking employment should see R.M. "Steve" Stephenson the new local veterans employment representative at the Craig Workforce Center. Steve is responsible for veteran employment issues for the Craig, Meeker, Rangely, Steamboat and Granby offices of the Colorado Division of Labor and Employment.
For information on these programs and/or veterans' benefits, call or stop in at the Moffat County Veterans Service Office office at 480 Barclay St. (west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot). Call (970) 824-3246, fax (970) 824-7108, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Normal office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Other times can be arranged by appointment.
Take a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.