Vets4Vets marks 10 years of assisting veterans

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    Vets4Vets of Archuleta County became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on Aug. 31, 2011. This organization currently has more than 190 members, with 108 lifetime members. The purpose is serving veterans and their families in Archuleta County and the Four Corners Area.

    This organization had a very small start in 2011 and before. Six veterans who were Vietnam combat survivors were seeing counselor Bev Sondag at the Durango VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) Clinic, driving from Pagosa for each individual appointment. She suggested they get together in Pagosa Springs instead of the driving to Durango.

    These six men then started meeting at Dorothy’s Restaurant downtown, when someone suggested meeting at the Buffalo Inn. This restaurant was owned and run by another Vietnam combat veteran. 

    Requests were made and a counselor from the Farmington Vet Center started making a trip to Pagosa to assist these combat veterans. When channels were blocked, they decided to form an organization to get more strength in numbers. More and more veterans and spouses became involved.

    From such small beginnings, the organization has grown into a force to be listened to. Providing assistance through grants, doing fundraisers such as the Vets4Vets Golf Tournament, this assistance has proven to be not just within the county, but within the Four Corners area. 

    This organization also benefits the community. The members have accumulated some 10,000 volunteer hours with organizations such as Loaves and Fishes, Salvation Army and other veteran groups. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We look forward to the next 10 years within Archuleta County. 

    Happy 10th birthday, Vets4Vets of Archuleta County.

    Grant allows Vets4Vets to help local veterans 

    Vets4Vets of Archuleta County has received a grant from the Colorado Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. This financial grant is to support veterans in our community through the following assistance: housing, utilities, mental health counseling, dental services, travel assistance, automobile repairs, gas and food cards, and emergency veteran assistance. 

    Contact Vets4Vets at https://vets4vetspsco.org/ or dharps@gmail.com.

    Contact information

    Veterans: Thank you for your service. Welcome home.

    For further information on VA benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office (VSO), located at the Pagosa Springs Senior Center in the Ross Aragon Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard.

    The office: (970) 264-4013, fax number: (970) 264-4014, and email is raytaylor@archuletacounty.org. Bring your DD Form 214 (discharge) for applications to VA programs or benefits for which the veteran may be entitled to enroll, and for filing in the Archuleta County VSO. Always leave a message and phone number to contact you.

    The following veterans groups meet in Pagosa Springs:

    • American Legion Post 108: second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m., 287 Hermosa St.

    • Veterans for Veterans: every Tuesday at 10 a.m., Tennyson Building Event Center, 197 Navajo Trail Drive, on all but the first Tuesday. Breakfast meeting on the first Tuesday of the month at 9 a.m. Contact (970) 799-8387 for more details.

    • Combat Veterans PTSD Group: every other Tuesday at noon, Community United Methodist Church, Lewis Street. Contact Gary Hanneman at (970) 946-2540.

    • Women’s Group of Spouses of Veterans: first and third Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m., Dr. Carter’s office; contact Charlotte at 903-9690.

    Important information

    • (970) 799-VETS, www.Vets4VetsPSCO.org.

    • Durango VA Outpatient Clinic: (970) 247-2214.

    • Farmington VA Center: (505) 326-4383.

    • VAMC Albuquerque, N.M.: (800) 465-8262.

    • VA Health Care Emergency Notification: (844) 724-7842.

    The Veterans Crisis Line offers free, confidential support to veterans in crisis, as well as their family and friends 24/7/365. Call (800) 273-8255, chat online or text 838255.