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Ignacio-Bayfield group assisting Colorado veterans

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Thursday, March 13, 2014 10:27 PM

Operation Second Chance is planning a mission in this area.

It's not a military mission, but it is for military personnel.

The non-profit group provides hospital visits, financial assistance, and retreats for injured veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A group of locals, many of them veterans from the Vietnam era, want to make sure that veterans with injuries who are being treated in the Albuquerque, Grand Junction or Denver areas know that they are appreciated and remembered.

"We want to say 'thank you for your service,' " said John Jarrett of Ignacio, a member of the national board of directors of Operation Second Chance. He is being joined locally by Bill Bell, Phil Abbott, Dennis and Wendy Cox, Joe Layton Joe Ford and Harris Murphy of Bayfield and Ignacio. They are organizing a variety of events for veterans. One is a three-day striped bass fishing trip to Lake Powell in May for eight veterans. Closer to home, Jarrett is working on arranging trips to Mesa Verde and on the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, as well as flyfishing and four-wheeling expeditions.

Operation Second Chance is building relationships with local groups, such as the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally and Mancos Balloon Festival, which will help host fundraisers for the local efforts.

"Money raised in Colorado stays in Colorado," Bell added.

The group also would like to assist any local wounded veterans who need assistance. Donations can be sent to Operation Second Chance - the Colorado Adventure, to 324 Lone Star Lane Ignacio, CO 81137. More information also is at www.operationsecondchance.org.

For more information, contact Bell at 884-0401 or Phil Abbott at 319-8840.

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