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By Larry Jelinek
Special to The SUN
Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County was represented well at the annual Veterans Day breakfast hosted by the eighth-grade American History class at Pagosa Springs Middle School.
At the weekly meeting the next day, members talked about how much we enjoyed talking with the students as well as other veterans in the community. There was a common theme that kept coming up from veterans in our community who did not know about this organization and/or what it does. The answer is simple; we are veterans helping veterans in need.
I thought I would share a recent example of one veteran we helped. Just days before Veterans Day, we received a call that there was a veteran who needed help. He was homeless, didn’t have any money or a place to stay/live. Veterans for Veterans, along with others in the community including Raymond Taylor (county Veterans Services Officer), Nancy Rea (Justice Ministries) and the Volunteers of America in Durango came together to help this veteran. Together, we were able to find this veteran an apartment and, by the end of the day, we not only had it furnished, we took the veteran to the grocery store and were able to put food in the cupboards and refrigerator. He is now hooked up with Volunteers of America, which will work with him on doing a budget and helping make sure he is able to get back on this feet and be self-sufficient. This veteran was overwhelmed with what all of us had done for a complete stranger.
This is just one example out of many, where we help veterans who are in need. We receive our funding mainly through donations and fund-raisers. This coming year, we are adding an event that we hope becomes our signature annual event. The event is the Veterans for Veterans golf tournament, which is scheduled to take place on May 17. Look for more information about this event in the future.
With winter coming very soon, demand for help will increase significantly, thus putting a strain on our available funds. If you would like to make a donation to help our local veterans, send a check made out to Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County to Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County, P.O. Box 5331, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.
It is only through the generosity of compassionate donors that the Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County can offer its support to area veterans and their families in times of great stress.
The Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County meet weekly at the Quality Resort every Tuesday at 10 a.m. We are a local non-profit 501(C)(3) organization developed to meet the needs of local veterans, including financial assistance, help during a move, transportation to a medical appointment, help in filing VA claims or dealing with the VA, providing firewood or water, help paying rent and utilities, finding housing/assistance for homeless veterans, computer/technical assistance, help during emotional distress, visiting shut-in veterans and those in the nursing home, plus much more.