Bill Harding: Office offers free transport to Grand Junction hospital

Veterans Hotline

— This office offers free transportation to eligible veterans from Moffat County and the adjacent counties of Carbon, Wyo., Routt and Rio Blanco, to and from the VAMC Hospital in Grand Junction. We also assist with transportation to Denver and Salt Lake City for specialized treatments. Occasionally, we provide rides to the Sheridan, Wyo., substance abuse/mental health treatment center for this vet region. We also are establishing plans to bring older, low-income, non-driving/handicapped veterans to the new Craig Telehealth Clinic after it opens. Specific criteria will be the factors for this local service using volunteer drivers.

To be eligible for these rides you must be ambulatory and be able to get in/out of our van with minimal assistance.

Special arrangements must be made if you require transport and are wheelchairbound. To schedule a ride, call my office at least a week in advance at (970) 824-3246, ext 10. I would like two weeks notice, if possible, so that we can schedule multiple riders with one trip instead of daily trips for just one veteran.

There are some clinics that cannot be changed but others can. In order to continue this service we - you and I - must make these trips as few as possible to ensure you get the health care you deserve, but also stretch the funding for the county and grants to ensure the vet transportation needs for health services are met for the longest period of time, or until there is no need for it any longer.

Please assist in whatever manner you can so this service remains viable for the long haul, or until a system of public transportation between Craig and Grand Junction returns.

Vietnam Moving Wall rubbings now ready

While the Moving Wall was in Craig, we offered to make electronic rubbings for the names on the walls because the walls got so hot that the crayons melted and "good" rubs were not possible. I made several for people that needed a better one. I have those ready now, but I have one without a local contact name.

That veteran was Bruce Ronald Franz. He was from Fruita and was a sergeant in the U.S. Army. His date of death was Dec. 12, 1969. If this is your request for a rubbing, please call me.

Mutts 4-H collecting donations for military

The marvelous Mutts 4-H Club from Meeker is collecting donation items for care packages to send to USA Military Canine Teams that are deployed to the Middle East. They are trying to send K-9 cooling vests and mats, boots, toys, K-9 jerky and snacks, dog grooming supplies, etc. They will have a table at the Meeker Sheep Dog Trials from Sept. 7 to 9. If you are interested in learning more about war dogs, their handlers and the U.S. War Dog Association, visit their website at http;//uswardogs.org.

Vietnam veterans now serving in Congress

There are 18 - nine Republicans and nine Democrats - presently serving in Congress who served in Vietnam. Those in the Senate are: Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jim Webb (D-Va.). Those in the House are: Leonard L. Boswell (D-Iowa), Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-Md.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Sam Johnson (R-Texas), John Kline (R-Minn.), Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.).

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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