Veterans Hotline: Remember veterans during holidays |

Veterans Hotline: Remember veterans during holidays

Bill Harding

Glad to have seen all those who lowered their flags for the Pearl Harbor Recognition Day observance Friday.

Sorry to see that numerous others didn’t get the heads up from the radio, newspaper or Gov. Ritter’s proclamation to state offices.

Kudos to the KOA campground, Yampa Valley Electric, the BLM, the east Colorado Department of Transportation shop, the Fairgrounds, the Craig Rural Fire Department, the U.S. Post Office, the Moffat County courthouse, the Moffat County library, the First Congregational Church and the Moffat County school district.

Those who I didn’t see “git r done” – sorry – were City Hall, the CDOT on Ranney, the Chamber office, Chapman’s Auto, the Public Safety Center, Severson’s, CNCC campus Craig, Holiday Inn, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, the Memorial Hospital, the Museum and First National Bank of the Rockies.

Let’s do better next year.

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots sponsored by the US Marine Corps is ongoing in Routt County. If you are interested in donating toys or contributing, contact Mike Condie, the Routt County Veterans Service Officer at 879-5489 or

December memories

While we bustle around with the upcoming holidays, gift shopping/giving and trips home to be with family, we think about all the pleasant memories that this month December brings to mind.

There are those though who this cold and frosty weather doesn’t foster fond memories at all. Those are members of our military forces that spent former holiday seasons slugging across frozen fields and rivers, or were dug in trenches/foxholes trying to stay warm and safe.

Our patriot fathers crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Eve in 1776 to surprise Hessian forces during a driving snowstorm and win a major battle while suffering the winter as a rag tag army at Valley Forge.

During WWI troops huddled in the trenches, on both sides, paused long enough on Christmas Eve to sing “Silent Night” which echoed, in two languages, across the twisted barbed wire and mined areas known as “No Man’s Land” while the big artillery guns had paused from their continual bombardment.

In 1944, our servicemen were surprised when the Germans launched the counter attack known as the Battle of the Bulge on Dec. 16. The battle lasted until Jan. 15 across the frozen fields and forests of the Ardennes. More than 160,000 soldiers were killed on both sides. This also included the siege at Bastogne.

During the Korean War, from 1950 to 1953, hundreds froze to death while trying to hold/recapture ground near the Chosin reservoir. These battles ranged from November 1950 through January 1951 through narrow mountain passes with temperatures well below zero. Many of the survivors still are suffering from the effects of severe frostbite today.

So pause for a moment and think about those who did not return and those who survived but have memories they wish to lose, as we trudge thru the snow and cold this season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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 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.