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Vets for Vets comes of age

Veterans for Veterans of Archuleta County has now been established as a nonprofit charitable organization for over a year.

A new board of directors has been elected and officers for the term have been chosen. The new officers are Kenneth Jones, president; Larry Jelinek, vice president; secretary/treasurer, Sidney Creech. Other board members elected are Dennis Dunlap, Don Ford, Dick Fortier and Mary Heddings.

We appreciate the services, hard work and accomplishments of the past officers: Jim Stone (past president), Roy Melius (past vice president), Tom Blankenship (legislative liason) and Karen Jones (past secretary). These people have made an incredible contribution to all the veterans in Archuleta County.

In the past year and a half, the organization has received over $21,000 in donations from yard sales, membership donations and outside donations from the community. Of that amount, well over $17,000 has been distributed to veterans who needed assistance with medical bills and travel not covered by the Veterans Administration or the Veterans Service Office and with utility bills. The group has provided funding for a place for the readjustment counselor, Charles Benway, to have group sessions with combat veterans and spouses of combat veterans. Benway is available every Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church to counsel with combat veterans.

The most important change is a new meeting place. Veterans for Veterans will now be meeting at Quality Resort, 3505 U.S. 160, on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. There will be adequate space for more growth and all veterans are welcome. Membership in Veterans for Veterans is $10 per year beginning January 2013.

Information is available 24/7 by calling 799-VETS (8387), or on the website The support from the community is greatly appreciated.

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