Members of Lee Marts Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3571 and its auxiliary were joined by cadets from the Delta County squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, their leaders, and VFW auxiliary members from the Clifton post to decorate the American Service Women's Memorial in Collbran for Christmas. This decoration party is an annual event for post and auxiliary members, who meet at the Grand Junction VA Hospital and deliver good cheer, Christmas gifts and sing Christmas carols to the residents of the VA nursing home facility. Since the VA Hospital is "on the way" to Coll-bran, it's a great place to meet and start off the day working with and for veterans.
From the hospital, the group goes up to the memorial in Collbran to decorate the tree provided by the town of Collbran and the memorial itself with hundreds of handmade ornaments, each carrying the name and branch of service of a woman veteran.
The annual trek gives Delta veterans and their family members a chance to renew their ties with fellow veterans, in person or in spirit. The American Service Women's Memorial is one of the best kept secrets of western Colorado. There is no sign on Interstate 70 to direct travellers to its location in Collbran, and only a small sign on Colorado Highway 65 points the way. Many area residents have never heard of the memorial, let alone seen it. The memorial was completed in the 1990s as a lasting tribute to the thousands of women who served their country in the military, some of whom gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country ... their lives.