Bill Harding: Remembering Veterans Day

— Veterans Day observances went well in Craig and Steamboat.

As the front page Daily Press article showed, the flag retirement event was a success. More than 200 flags - USA, Colorado and POW/MIA - were cremated, and the ashes will be buried.

The dinners in Steamboat and Craig were well attended. The Steamboat dinner was open to all vets; the dinner in Craig, this year, was by written invitation only.

Craig's event next year will be back to the usual open invitation for all vets, vet widows and others. The 2008 event will be held at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion on Nov. 11.

Flu shots

Flu shot vaccines have been received in Craig, and shots are being given to walk-ins. Call Dave at 824-6721 before going to the Teleclinic. The second scheduled walk-in day for shots is set for the Tuesday after all our turkey-day festivities.

Thanksgiving Day

This Thanksgiving celebration falls on Nov. 22, the fourth Thursday of the month.

Most of us will be so focused on the bird, cranberries and the football games that we will forget the significance of Nov. 22.

On that day in 1963 - 44 years ago now - John Fitzgerald Kennedy, our 35th president, was assassinated in Dallas.

"Soldiers Ride"

The NW Colorado Snow Machine Club, or NOWECOS, and members of the Colorado Snowmobile Association are working together to provide a program called "Soldier's Ride."

This state association and its local clubs will provide free, one-day snowmobile rides/tours for disabled veterans, active-duty personnel home on leave or family members of active-duty military units, Reserves or Guard members.

The local club, NOWECOS, along with Elkhorn Winter Adventures of Craig, owner Dick Dodd and guide Dave Watson will sponsor a guided day tour in NW Colorado for up to three couples, on two-rider machines. They are looking at Feb. 2 as the probable tour date.

If you are eligible or know of servicemen/women home during that period, call Jan Tonso of NOWECOS at 824-5821 for more information. The Tonsos will be unavailable until after Nov. 19, since they are away elk hunting now.

Homeless veterans

A New York Times article is addressing the problem of homeless veterans in light of the problem across the nation.

Altough the numbers still focus on the Vietnam Era homeless, the new article highlights the surge in returning Iraq/Afghanistan soldiers and the alarming increase of women veterans from those war zones. The major factors are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and the multiple tours our current military and National Guard members are having to endure.

Magazine donations

Thanks to the Zulian brothers for the donation of hotrod and custom car magazines for servicemen and women. The first box went to the veterans nursing home in Rifle and was greatly appreciated. If you have magazines in good shape or paperback books, bring them to my office or the VFW and we will get them to deserving veterans.

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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