MONTROSE – With the Warrior Resource Center in Montrose now open and connecting veterans with area services, more opportunities are being offered by the center every day.
Recently, the center became the central coordination point for the eagle head canes program.
Back in the Civil War era, neighbors relied on each other, as veteran assistant programs had not yet been created, according to center staff. For soldiers who came home from battle with leg injuries, neighbors would carve a cane for them, topped with a bald eagle head.
In 2004, a New England woodworking group revived the tradition, which has spread across the country.
Until recently, members of the Black Canyon Wood Carvers and Guild of Western Colorado Turners have worked with craftsmen in Grand Junction, creating these canes for area veterans, according to center staffers. But with demand increasing in Montrose, the guild has branched off to start their own service here in Montrose.
Applications for the canes are available at the center, as well as at the VFW and Montrose Pavilion. Applications should be submitted to the resource center.
The Montrose woodworkers carve the heads, turn the canes, add personalized engraving and carefully assemble.
The Warrior Resource Center also has started two social groups – a coffee meeting for veterans, and luncheon for military spouses.
At the suggestion of local veterans, the center is hosting a weekly veteran's coffee, which started Sept. 27.
Every Thursday from 8-10 a.m., veterans can gather at the center for free coffee. Veterans who haven't already registered with the center should do so by bringing a form of military identification.
Military spouses are invited to the center on Oct. 10, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., for a luncheon. This spouse group is an opportunity for military families to connect, according to the center. Food and beverages will be provided by Welcome Home Montrose, but attendees are asked to call Emily or Susan at 970/ 765-2210 to let them know they'll be coming.
The center is a component of Welcome Home Montrose, which was started about nine months ago to create a no-barriers community that supports veterans through job opportunities, partnerships, recreation, spiritual and other forms of support.
Kati O'Hare at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet @katiohare