Veterans Coffee Connection at Tri-County Senior Center


MONTE VISTA — Director of Activities for Tri-County Senior Center DJ Salazar recently announced Veterans Coffee Connection will be from 8 to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays at the Tri-County Senior Center. The event is being organized by SSG Fox SPGP, and Valley Veterans ReCreation.

Veterans all over the San Luis Valley are invited to attend and come and enjoy a cup of coffee and socialize with fellow Veterans. Tri-County Senior Center is at 311 Washington St., Monte Vista.

The first Veterans Coffee Connection was held on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at the center and Salazar said that it went well.

“We had about four Veterans come down. It was a success. Out of those, we had two of them lined up with Craig Rauwolf, to help line them up with some Veteran’s benefits. Also, to hopefully get them in with another organization to help them with some things they need,” he said.

Salazar said that the main premise of the Coffee Connections was for the Veterans to get Veterans more resources in Monte Vista.

“We want to connect veterans with help they may need, as well as help them socialize together, with other Veterans,” he said.

Salazar is also the director and founder of Valley Veterans ReCreation. He has been the director and founder for 3 years now.

“I came up with the idea for this when I was working out at the Veterans at Homelake Living Community Center. I heard from a Veteran that they are always looking for more resources. We wanted to get Veterans outside for more exercise. We started Valley Veterans ReCreation to help get Veterans more resources, and to help Veterans get outside more and utilize outdoors as a resource. In the wintertime, we want this too, from finding activities like ice fishing, to snowboarding, to cross country and snow shoeing. We want to get every activity possible and make it available to Veterans. If you think about how Veterans have always given to us, we definitely want to give back to them. We are a 501C3, not-for-profit organization. We just want to give back and help our Veterans. We recently also had an ice fishing tournament for the Veterans. The Coffee Connection is just all a part of it. We hope to connect Veterans with each other as well as with other resources that can help them too. That is our main goal,” he said.

Salazar said that at the Coffee Connection they provide coffee and donuts for the Veterans and SSP Fox SPGP is also helping with a grant so that they can continue the Coffee Connection every Wednesday.

SSG Fox SPGP honors Veteran Parker Gordon Fox, who joined the Army in 2014 and was a sniper instructor at the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Ga. Known for a life of generosity and kindness to others in need, SSG Fox died by suicide on July 21, 2020, at the age of 25.

“Valley Veterans donated as well. We will also be having SLV GO! come up with the Coffee Connection. We have an MOU with SLV GO! as well, to help get more Veterans outside too,” Salazar said.

Salazar explained that Valley Veterans ReCreation also hosts other coffee connections in other towns for Veterans.

“We have Staff Sgt. Fox who helps with the Coffee and Wi-Fi Café on Tuesdays in San Luis. The muesum in Alamosa also holds a Coffee Connection on Thursdays. This side of the Valley really didn’t have it so once I came here to Tri-County a couple of weeks ago as the activities director, we worked things out, and now we have this one on this side. I believe Monte Vista has the second-largest population of Veterans in the Valley so we would love them all come down and socialize on Wednesdays here.”

For more information, contact Salazar at the Tri-County Senior Center at 719-852-5778.