Veterans

Creative Commons/Flickr/North Charleston

A veterans center that opened in Carbondale’s Third Street Center a year ago is already looking for a new home. Though some vets have been helped with things like housing and employment, more vets may use it if it was in Glenwood Springs. That’s according to Michael Conniff. He’s with the Western Slope Veterans Coalition and spoke with Marci Krivonen.

Michael Conniff is with the Western Slope Veterans Association, an organization that’s looking for a new home in Glenwood for it’s veterans center. They hope to announce a new space in July. 

Creative Commons/Flickr/US Army Africa

Local veterans in need are utilizing an emergency fund that's new this spring. The Western Slope Veterans Coalition is behind the assistance meant for vets in the Roaring Fork and Eagle valleys. Colonial Dick Merritt is part of the coalition. He says it helps with things like utilities, food, mental health counseling, transportation, employment and housing.

"There are many veterans coming out of military service and housing’s real tight. They have jobs but no place to live, so we’re helping them on a temporary basis to get settled."

Today is Memorial Day, and recent changes for veterans aim to make it easier for former service members to get medical care in rural areas, like the Roaring Fork Valley. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher has this update.

Creative Commons/Medical, Surgical Operative Photography

The V.A. medical center in Grand Junction that cares for patients in the Roaring Fork Valley, is stopping certain surgeries. The move comes after an abnormal number of “unwanted surgical complications.”

Adam McCabe is a decorated former Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. McCabe is also an active Huts for Vets board member and teaches other returning veterans Tension Releasing Exercises (TRE), which are proven to help better manage symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He shares about his story, and the importance of Huts for Vets programs. Paul Anderson is the Executive Director of Huts for Vets and shares about the need for programs like Huts for Vets. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Janice Nark is a Huts for Vets board member.

Huts for Vets is a new non-profit, founded in January 2013. The organization lead two programs last summer, introducing 15 veterans to the serenity and calm of the wilderness - almost all of whom said the experience changed their life. Paul Anderson is the Executive Director of Huts for Vets and shares about the mission and programs of the non-profit organization. Dr. Jerry Alpern is a psychologist and a member of the board, he shares about the value of Huts for Vets. 

Learn more about Huts for Vets and Huts for Vets programs on their website: www.hutsforvets.org

Huts for Vets presents "Make Sure it's Me", a play about veterans returning home after deployment, read by veterans from the Roaring Fork Valley. Guests are Paul Andersen, Dr. Jerry Alpern and Adam McCabe from Huts for Vets.

And David Ledingham, Donald Sage Mackay and Adrianna Thompson from the Aspen Fringe Festival on this year's lineup, including the Morales Dance Company, "Venus in Fur" and a play workshop on "The Last Outlaw" written by Mackay.

Larry Spatz

A part time Snowmass Village resident is working to revolutionize wheelchairs for veterans. The idea is to make it easier for vets to get around places that don’t have smooth pavement, to improve quality of life and expand their access to the outdoors. 

Flickr/Russell Sellers

An effort is underway to expand services for local veterans and better tackle problems like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and brain injuries. It’s estimated more than 14,000 veterans live in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys and, a center is opening up before summer to help deliver services to them. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

United States Department of Veterans Affairs

The Affordable Care Act has forced residents along the Roaring Fork Valley to figure out what to do about insurance… whether it’s sign up for a plan, or pay a fine. But many in the Valley can already get discounted or free care. That's because Veterans Affairs, or the VA, has opened up its doors to more military veterans who served in the Vietnam War or the Persian Gulf War (also called Operation Desert Storm).

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