The battle area veterans and veterans' organizations had long fought -- securing a local medical care clinic for veterans -- was won last month when news came that a facility would open in Craig.
"We're finally getting some veteran health care without the 300-mile trip," said Bill Harding, Moffat County Veterans Service officer. "Everybody is excited. A lot of people said it's long overdue. It's a step in the right direction."
The next step for the estimated 4,200 veterans living in Northwest Colorado is learning just how the new clinic will operate and what services will be offered. Veterans currently have to travel to Grand Junction or Denver for medical care.
On April 18, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced it would open an outreach clinic in Craig. The clinic would primarily serve veterans in Moffat, Routt, Rio Blanco counties and Carbon County, Wyo., Harding said.
A town meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, May 18 at the American Legion Post No. 62, 1055 County Road 7, to cover specifics of the clinic's operation. The meeting is open to veterans and local politicians, and veterans organization representatives.
A representative from the Department of Veterans Affairs will be on-hand to provide information and answer questions, Harding said.
"There will be a Q and A period on what the clinic will entail, how it's going to serve (veterans)," Harding said. "Those who are interested and have questions are welcome to attend."
Harding said the clinic will open by offering a few basic services, and it's important for veterans to use the clinic so it can grow and expand services.
"It's imperative they start seeking care locally," he said.