Free transportation for veterans to VA medical appointments is available Monday through Friday at the Chaffee County Veterans Service Office, Suite 134 in the Touber Building, 448 E. First St. in Salida.
Jan Wilson, transportation coordinator, is in the office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday through Thursdays. Two four-wheel-drive vans provided by the Disabled American Veterans and Chaffee County commissioners are available.
“We provide about 25 trips per month to VA centers and to appointments outsourced by the VA when a VA center is not available to provide the needed service or when a veteran is exercising their option to go to a civilian doctor, based on proximity to VA services,” Wilson said. “Veterans needing transportation should call the office at 719-539-3803.”
Volunteer drivers are needed, and anyone interested in thanking a veteran for their freedom or just wanting to spend a day with someone who has a lifetime worth of experiences and wisdom to share is encouraged to call 719-539-3803.
“One day a month is all it takes to make a difference in a local veteran’s life,” Wilson said. “We can work with your schedule. If you would like to express your gratitude, call or email email@example.com. Please show our veterans they have not been forgotten.”
Cathy Sadeik, veterans services officer, is in the office from 9 am. to 1 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, helping veterans with claims for VA benefits, health care applications, home loan guarantee and other concerns.
Sadeik was an Army finance officer and as one of several in her family who have served in the military, she has experience with benefits and compensations and is determined to solve problems. She can be reached during office hours by phone at 719-539-3803 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We help veterans get VA benefits but we aren’t the VA,” Sadeik said. “We are county and work closely with the Colorado Division of Veternas Affairs. Veterans are welcome to call or come by and ask about federal and state benefits. The application processes vary and can be easy or confusing. We’re here to help.”
Nationwide there are approximately 8,000 county Veterans Service Offices and 2,000 state Veterans Service Offices.
The Chaffee County office no longer receives grant funds that can be used to help veterans, but Sadeik and Wilson have contact information for organizations that can provide short-term financial assistance, especially when a veteran has received an eviction notice.