Bill Harding: Veterans wanted for Grand Olde West Days parade

— Veterans are being sought as part of this year's Grand Olde West Days festivities, which are May 24 to May 26.

The veterans will lead the GOWD parade again on May 24.

The Veterans of Foreign War are providing the lead entry - a trailer for all vets and widows to ride -thanks Larry and Mary Bea Neu.

If interested, show up at the Craig Middle School north parking lot and be ready to head out at 2 p.m. If you wish to help decorate, be there about 1 p.m.

All riders will be returned to that point unless you make other arrangements for pick-up at the parade's end.

CVSO training

Personnel in the Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco Veteran Service Offices will not be in their offices May 6 through May 10.

We are traveling together to an annual training in Denver. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

Transport requests received prior to when we leave will be covered by volunteers as Dick Maxson still is out of service.

Hometown heroes

The Craig Daily Press is again sponsoring the local Hometown heroes recognition picnic and gathering in Craig.

It is May 17, which is Armed Forces Day, at the Craig City Park, or Veterans Park, behind the VFW and next to the city pool complex.

This event is open to the public to honor those military servicemen and women who are serving at this time and acknowledge the sacrifices of others.

More details are to come.

VFW District meeting

The VFW District 9 meeting is at 11 a.m. May 10 at the Post 4265 Headquarters.

All VFW members from Craig, Hayden, Steamboat, Meeker, Granby and Kremmling are asked to attend.

This meeting is the election of the upcoming year's officers, and the position for District Commander is open as C. G. "Charley" Watkins is moving from the area.

The local VFW and community will really miss him plus all that he and Donna have done since their arrival in Craig. Best wishes to both of you.

Colorado Board of Vet Affairs

The Colorado State Board of Veterans Affairs is in Craig May 13 and 14.

There will be an open meeting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. May 13 at American Legion Post 62 on Moffat County Road 7. Light refreshments will be provided.

This is an open meeting for area vets to meet the members of the committee and share their concerns.

At 9 a.m. May 14, the Committee will hold its May business meeting at the VFW Post 4265 facility and then tour the Northwest Colorado Telehealth Clinic after the meeting.

This formal meeting is open to the public, as well, in order to observe their activities, but comments are limited to the approved agenda. This board is appointed by the governor to oversee the vet issues of the state. For more details, see the April 24 Daily Press article.

Moffat County OIF support group

Dave Newman from the Craig Telehealth clinic sent this to me and I'm passing it on:

I (Dave) would like to gauge the interest in an Operation Iraqi Freedom support group here in Craig. It likely would not be run by the VA, probably by the Vet Center, although the location still is up in the air.

I was wondering if you could include in your next news article that we would like to gauge interest in an OIF support group here in Craig, and if interested, what would be good times for such a meeting. I'm considering a Monday or Friday morning, an evening or a weekend day.

If you would like to track it and tell me the results, that would be great. I realize you are very busy, so you could just tell people to contact me here at the clinic - (970) 824-6721 - with their comments, or they could send a note.

Thanks, Dave

Moffat County Schools awards night

The Vietnam Moving Wall scholarship, which is worth $1,500, will be awarded along with other scholarship awards at the Moffat County High School on May 20.

Cost savings

Gar Williams, of the American Legion Department of Colorado, supplied me with these numbers:

The Craig Telehealth Clinic averages about 150 vet visits per month.

He has calculated that the clinic has saved about 900 vet transports to VAMC Grand Junction since it opened.

That has saved about 6,300 hours of travel time, 297,000 miles of travel to and from the VAMC and an estimated fuel savings of 13,500 gallons which, if calculated at $2.89 per gallon, equates to a savings of $39,000.

With current fuel prices approaching $4 per gallon, this could mean as much as a $54,000 in savings in the immediate future.

Memorial Day activities

Memorial Day will be observed Monday, May 26.

There are observances in Craig, Steamboat, Yampa, Maybell, Granby and Hayden. As a vet, you need to participate in your post or neighboring post joining our thinning ranks in order to honor those whose sacrifice gave us the freedoms we now enjoy.

Watch the local papers and listen for radio spots to give all the where's and when's.

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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