The Montezuma Hearing Clinic held its first appreciation dinner for veteran clients.
The clinic, on Cottonwood Street in Cortez, provides hearing aids for a large number of Montezuma County veterans. It’s one of the few hearing clinics in the region that participate in the Veterans Choice program, which allows community health providers to serve people enrolled in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare plan. Nearly 70 veterans and family members responded to the clinic’s invitation to the July 7 cookout, and organizer Scott Story said he expects to make it an annual event.
Montezuma Hearing joined the Choice program three years ago, Story said, and he believes it’s been beneficial for both the clinic and local veterans.
“It’s a way we see that we can help serve back to those that have served us,” he said.
At the cookout, he and a few other staff members served beans, brisket and pulled pork under canopies outside the clinic. Several veterans stopped to compliment the chef on how good the food was. Many were longtime hearing aid clients, but some had started coming more recently.
Carole Cole said she and her husband, Bud, a World War II veteran, had only recently started taking advantage of Veterans Choice programs.
“We didn’t know we could do this,” she said. “It’s been a big help to us.”
Montezuma County deputy Donnie Brown stopped by with one of the sheriff’s new mounted patrol horses, recently renamed Rebell. Several guests came up to pet the horse and take pictures. Brown said he’s trying to bring Rebell to as many crowded events as possible as part of his training.
“He’s doing well so far,” he said.
Story said he hopes to host many more veterans appreciation events in the future.