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Delta County vets answer the call

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Photo by Don Benjamin Frank McPherson of Hotchkiss received an eagle-head cane as part of The Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans coffee held last week in Cedaredge. The presentation of handmade canes to honor returning veterans is a tradition that dates b

The Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans held a first-ever coffee event in Delta County on Feb. 20 and the turnout was encouraging. Forty-five veterans assembled in downtown Cedaredge to meet and greet others and learn about services. The Pondy provided the room for the event and served free coffee while Stacy's on Main provided free treats. Plans are to hold the event in the same place on the third Tuesday of every month.

During the event, Frank McPherson was presented with a hand-carved cane created by the Woodworker's Guild of Western Colorado and the Montrose Area Wood-Turners. The alliance's Eagle-Head Cane Program continues a tradition begun after the Civil War of presenting canes to returning veterans. Veterans can be nominated to receive a cane or be nominated for the honor by contacting the alliance in Montrose at 970-765-2210.

The next Welcome Home Alliance veterans' coffee will be held at the Pondy from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, March 21. The event is a meet-and-greet affair and veterans are welcome to drop in at any time to socialize with their comrades and inquire about services. Every month alliance representatives and veterans service officers will be on hand to answer questions and make referrals. All veterans attending are requested to bring a copy of their DD-214 discharge documents or other military identification so they can be added to the alliance's service base.

For information and questions prior to the next alliance coffee, Delta County veterans can contact Brian Ayer, county veteran service officer. He works part-time at the Delta County Courthouse, 501 Palmer Street, Suite 106, in Delta. His office hours are the first ten working days of every month from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At other times Ayers is available by phone at 970-874-2082 or through email: bayers@deltacounty.com.

All Delta County veterans are urged to attend the March 21 meeting and return on the third Tuesday of every month for further interaction. For questions, contact the alliance at 970-765-2210. Veterans can also visit the Montrose office at 11 South Park Avenue although they are in the process of moving to a new location at 2 Hillcrest Plaza Way in Montrose. In fact, if Delta County veterans want to pitch in and help with the move, the alliance would welcome their assistance. Call ahead to sign up to help with the move.

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