Bill Harding: Honor our fallen heroes

Don't forget to fly your U.S. flag at half-staff (half-mast) until noon on Monday, May 28.

Honor those veterans who died on foreign shores and the high seas defending our country in past wars, and honor those who served honorably, who carried those memories to their grave following accidents, illness or the ravages of time.

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Fly it proudly for those who are defending our way of life in hostile territories today, or for those who may be called as soon as tomorrow.

Picnic on Saturday

Hometown Heroes picnic is Saturday at City Park, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Town hall

meeting Friday

Town hall meeting on the proposed veteran Telehealth Clinic is tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the American Legion Post off County Road 7.

If you received an invitation or wish to attend, arrive early so the meeting can start on time. Light refreshments will be served.

The VAMC has posted the requirements for leased space in Craig in the local paper. If you are interested in providing office space, contact my office as I have a full listing.

Memorial Day weekend

Looking for volunteers to assist marking the graves of veterans in Craig on Sunday, May 27 at 5 p.m.

If you wish to assist, come to the Craig cemetery and look for the VFW marked white blazer.

Sections of the cemetery and maps will be provided. Bring a small hammer to drive spikes to place the miniature flags.

Memorial Day ceremonies will be held at the Craig cemetery and the Maybell cemetery Monday, May 28. The Craig ceremony will start at 11 a.m., and the Maybell services begin at 3 p.m.

Rep. John Salazar Spearheads Rural VAHC

U.S. Rep. John Salazar, the only military veteran in the Colorado Congressional delegation, is sponsoring legislation to expand and improve access to health care for veterans living in rural communities.

A 2004 study by the Depart--ment of Veterans Affairs found that rural veterans are in poorer health than those living in urban areas. Because of the distance and other difficulties associated with obtaining care, many rural veterans put off preventive as well as necessary treatment, which can result in poor health and increased costs.

"Across America, one in four veterans live in a rural area," Rep. Salazar said. "These veterans shouldn't have to drive hours to receive the health care services our nation promised them. Every veteran should have easy access to quality, affordable health care. This bill is the next step forward in ensuring that our veterans are taken care of and have the health care services they were promised."

To improve health care for veterans, last year Congress passed The Veterans Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act of 2006, which created the Office of Rural Health in the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, this new office needs support, direction and resources in order to fulfill its mission.

Salazar's legislation, The Rural Veterans Healthcare Improvement Act of 2007, will improve access to health care by requiring the VA's Office of Rural Health to implement research and solutions.

For information on these programs and/or other veterans' benefits, call or stop in the Moffat County VSO office at 480 Barclay St. (west of the Bank of Colorado parking lot).

Call 970-824-3246 or use the fax 970-824-7108. Our e-mail address is veterans@moffatcounty.net. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Other times can be arranged by appointment only.

Bring a copy of your separation papers (DD-214) for application for VA programs and for filing at our office.

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