The Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans changed its name for a reason. "We used to be Welcome Home Montrose," says Mike Trickey, alliance executive director. "Now we're so much more." This month the nonprofit organization is expanding to serve not only Montrose but also adjacent counties including Ouray, San Miguel and Delta. This is the alliance's sixth year of operation and it promises to be one of its most ambitious as it seeks to enlarge its service base.

Starting in February, the alliance will host a Delta County veterans' coffee in Cedaredge on the third Tuesday of every month. The first coffee event will be held on Feb. 20 at The Pondy in downtown Cedaredge at 220 West Main Street from 10 a.m. to noon. Stacy's on Main will provide the refreshments.

Why Cedaredge?

"The Cedaredge community is generous and supportive," says Trickey but he stresses that veterans from throughout Delta County are invited to the Feb. 20 coffee. The event is an informal meet and greet affair. Veterans can come at any time during the scheduled event. There will be plenty of people available to talk with veterans about VA benefits, recreation activities, mental health concerns, housing, jobs, volunteer opportunities, and other issues.

The Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans is a grassroots community support organization that serves veterans and their families by providing peer support, social networking, recreation and alternative therapies, support and resources, and honor and recognition. Most importantly, the alliance is a source of information. The alliance serves veterans from every branch of service, every era, and all abilities. On occasion they also work with active duty military. Its motto is "At your service with information."

On hand at the February coffee, in addition to executive director Trickey, will be alliance administrative assistant April Heard, Michele Mummert from the Grand Junction Vet Center, and Brian Ayers, Delta County veteran service officer.

Regarding the February meeting and future Tuesday coffees, Ayers is enthusiastic. "I think it's a great idea and a great opportunity for outreach to veterans in an informal setting," he said. Ayers is located in the Delta County Courthouse, 501 Palmer Street, Suite 106, in Delta. He works part-time with office hours held during the first 10 working days of every month from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At other times he is available by phone at 970-874-2082 or through email:

All Delta County veterans are urged to attend the Feb. 20 meeting and return on every third Tuesday of the 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, beginning Feb. 25, they will be 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 this month's move the alliance would welcome their assistance. Please call ahead to sign up to help with the move.

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