Craig veterans service officer Wilkinson honored with statewide award
Ed Wilkinson hopes that the recognition he got from the statewide veterans service organization brings some attention to the work he’s doing in Craig — not for his own sake, but for the people he serves.
Wilkinson is the veterans service officer for Moffat County. He takes care of veterans who need help filing disability claims, getting to appointments in Grand Junction, getting enrolled in healthcare and whatever else they might need.
At 81 years old, Wilkinson has been at this particular position since 2009, eight years after he retired from the phone company. This year, at the annual event for Colorado veterans service officers, Wilkinson was awarded with the William “Bill” Conroy Award, “for outstanding achievement, passion, dedication, serving military veterans and their dependents in Moffat County.”
“That made me feel kind of good,” Wilkinson said. “(It) lets me know I’m doing my job.”
Wilkinson served in Japan from 1958 to 1961, after which he went to work for the phone company, coming to Craig in 1972. From there, he joined the Moffat County Sheriff’s posse, continued to serve in the National Guard and eventually found his way to work with veterans in the community. He is also the commander of the local American Legion.
“I just want to let other veterans know I’m around,” he said. “I really only get Korea, Vietnam, some Desert Storm veterans. OIF and OEF (Operating Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars), they’re like the rest of us. They get out of the military and don’t want anything to do with it. But then later in life, your body starts falling apart and something from your time in active duty catches up to you.”
Wilkinson has a simple message for veterans of those or any other wars or missions.
“I’m around,” he said. “I can help.”
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