Veteran services

Donnelly: Don’t Forget Larimer Veteran Services

Did you know that the Larimer County Office of Veterans Services is available to advocate and help veterans, their families, and survivors? The office provides assistance with filing and obtaining benefits, claims advice, representation and advocacy. In 2015, the office received 32,401 phone calls (they work hard to return every call!) and 4,880 office visits. These contacts gave rise to 904 new complaints and 1,527 open complaints.

The County Veterans Affairs team is active in community outreach each month for those who have difficulty getting to county offices. Debbie Pierson, Veterans Services Coordinator, is available to complete applications and answer questions during evening hours on the last Friday of each month at the VA Fort Collins Outpatient Clinic, as well as the second Wednesday of the month at the Fort Collins VFW .

The county has a vigorous Veterans Advisory Group, chaired by Larimer County Veterans Service Officer Col. Terry Gilbert. The VAG is frequented by agencies and organizations throughout the county that provide services to veterans. Membership continues to grow as veterans in the community become more active and engaged. This engagement with local organizations helps Larimer County learn about the issues our veteran community faces.

The county is also a founding partner of the “Coming Home Veterans” initiative. This initiative is a partnership created by Homeward 2020 focused on homeless veterans in our community. Current data indicates that at least 12% of the county’s homeless population are veterans. Work has begun to identify these people and connect them to available services.

Additionally, your County Board of Commissioners is working with the Veterans Administration to share space in County Health Department offices providing the VA with much-needed space for counseling and mental health services. for returning veterans. This is an interim solution as the VA seeks a permanent location here in Larimer County.

The Veterans Affairs Service office is headed by Pierson and staffed with four full-time and two part-time staff and countless volunteers who advocate on behalf of veterans. If you, or someone you know, could benefit from the help of the Office of Veterans Services, please contact them at (970) 498-7390 or by email at [email protected]

Larimer County Commissioner Tom Donnelly serves as Chairman of the County Board of Commissioners. The Colordoan publishes a column written by one of the commissioners on the third Sunday of each month.