Veterans Commission Event
On Saturday, April 2, the Commerce City Veterans Commission hosted an event at the Eagle Pointe Recreation Center, 6060 Parkway Dr., to assist veterans to explore the benefits they have earned and are eligible to obtain as a result of their service to our nation.
The event consisted of representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Adams County Veteran Service Office, American Legion Post 322 at Denver International Airport, and the Disabled American Veterans organization.
Also in attendance was Crystalle Guss, a commercial and residential real estate advisor with the Invalesco Real Estate Company, an innovative development and realty boutique. Beth Hale, a loan originator with Mortgage Right Mortgage Company, also attended along with Ms. Guss to assist veterans in dealing with home purchases.
The event, the third of many to come, was very successful. Veterans Commission Vice-chair Robert Carpenter, a resident of Commerce City, Vietnam War veteran; United States Air Force veteran, and Post Chaplain American Legion Post 322 stated that “the next seminar will expand on the various issues that are important to our veterans community of Commerce City.”
Veterans Commission Chairperson Craig Kim, United States Air Force veteran and Commerce City resident, stated that “The Veterans Commission will continue to provide the needed services by connecting through outreach to inform our veterans community of Commerce City.”
Veterans Commissioner Juan A. Lopez, a United States Air Force veteran who spearheaded the overall project at the Eagle Pointe Recreation Center, stated, “As veterans in Commerce City make important decisions about family, finances, education, and health care, it’s important that they spend a few moments exploring the VA benefits they might be eligible for. The Commerce City Veterans Commission wants to assist veterans with that kind of outreach.”
The next event for the Commerce City Veterans Commission is the city’s annual Memorial Day Parade, which opens with a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park at 8:45 a.m. on Memorial Day. The ceremony includes a dedication and commemoration, with the parade set to begin at 9:30 a.m. The Veterans Commission is assisting the Memorial Day Parade planning committee in the preparations for this event.
Mayor Benjamin Huseman, United States Air Force veteran, will be speaking and acknowledging the initial Commissioners of the Veterans Commission during the dedication ceremony, as well as acknowledging and commemorating the fallen warriors who have sacrificed honorably for our nation. The Grand Marshals for this year’s event are Barry Reece, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War, and Shawn Moss, a Navy and Army veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
After the parade, the city is hosting a Memorial Day event at Veterans Memorial Park featuring a concert with the band “Titonic” thanks to assistance from the Commerce City Cultural Council. There will also be food trucks and booths from various veterans service organizations, city boards and commissions, and others.
The Commerce City Veterans Commission was created on March 2, 2020, with the passage of Ordinance 2261. The Veterans Commission was established to increase visibility of veterans within the city, increase community engagement by veterans, inform the veteran community of available services, advocate for issues important to veterans, and participate in the planning of the city’s annual Memorial Day Parade. Each Commissioner serves a two (2) year term.
The members of the Veterans Commission are as follows:
Mayor Benjamin Huseman, United States Air Force
City Councilmember, Oscar Madera, Ward I
Staff Liaison Timothy Kleeman, United States Navy
Chairperson Craig Kim, United States Air Force
Vice-Chairperson Robert Carpenter, United States Air Force
Commissioner Gary Reed, United States Army
Commissioner Kelvin Reed, United States Air Force
Commissioner Juan A. Lopez, United States Air Force
Commissioner Scott Hefty, United States Army
Commissioner David Lewis, United States Air Force
Commissioner Erik Melendez, United States Army
Commissioner Kathryn Nay, United States Air Force [Air National Guard]
Commissioner Mark Chadwick, United States Marines
Commissioner Travis Watkins, United States Navy