We Remember Their Service

Jody Shadduck-McNally


By Jody Shadduck-McNally


Recently I was hiking with a combat veteran in Rocky Mountain National Park. As we both took in the amazing beauty of our national park and talked about his life experiences, I thought about the importance of the freedom we enjoy in our great nation and the many people who have made that possible. 

My thinking also coincided with the anniversaries of D-Day, Memorial Day, and the recent Memorial Day ceremony I attended in Fort Collins, while also looking forward to our upcoming celebrations of the Independence Day holiday and Veterans’ Day.  As a nation, we have set aside these days to recognize the triumphs and honor the sacrifices that others have made.

While these holidays are traditionally a time for family barbeques and a day off from work for many, each of these days also serves as a marker in our nation’s history in the effort toward a more perfect union and preservation of the many freedoms we enjoy that make our nation a unique place. These freedoms we have enable us to work toward making our country better. 

It’s said that freedom is not free, and I am reminded these holidays are days to honor, remember, and never forget the sacrifices, valor, courage, and price to maintain that freedom  Our Veterans have served on our behalf, but let’s not forget the sacrifices their families have made as well. The county’s Veterans’ Service Office (VSO) provides support for Veterans and their families and has developed partnerships with the Veterans’ Administration (VA) and other Veteran organizations. 

The Larimer County VSO assists Veterans in working toward obtaining benefits, claim counseling and representation, VA Health Care Enrollment, plus many other services that help our Veterans in civilian life, once they’ve returned home after serving their country. Sometimes the transition to civilian life for our Veterans can hit some bumps in the journey, and we’re here to help with that process. 

The office also works to help our Veterans and their families fill out sometimes complicated forms, apply for programs offered by the Veterans’ Administration, assist with filing disability and claims for injuries that occurred on active duty, apply for various other benefits, and find employment opportunities through their connections with our Economic and Workforce Development Center. 

 For one week in November each year, and coinciding with Veterans’ Day, Larimer County participates in Operation Greenlight, a national program started in 2021 that recognizes and honors all our Veterans for their sacrifice and service. We’re proud to honor their service by participating and reminding all there is a path for our Veterans to access the services they need to thrive in our community. Helping our Veterans learn about these services not only gives them the resources they need but also helps them contribute to our community from their many life experiences. Operation Green light allows us to further bring attention and recognition to our Veterans throughout civilian life. 

As we go about our day-to-day lives, enjoying days off and barbeques, let’s not take for granted the freedoms we enjoy or the people who made that possible.   If you’d like to learn more about the Larimer County Veterans Service Office please visit https://www.larimer.gov/veterans

Thank you for your engagement. I am honored and humbled to work hard on your behalf as your Larimer County Commissioner.

Jody Shadduck-McNally is a Larimer County commissioner representing all of Larimer County.

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