Steamboat recognized for being veteran friendly |

Steamboat recognized for being veteran friendly

— When local veteran and rancher Jim Stanko was asked back in December whether Steamboat Springs deserved to be named “The Most Veteran Friendly Little City in Colorado” for 2015, Stanko put together a list of 15 reasons why the answer is a resounding “yes.”

There’s the local hotel that gives free rooms on Veterans Day to up to 15 military families.

There were the 10th Mountain Division reunions that were held here and the special display at the Tread of Pioneers Museum that was installed to honor the history of the elite group of soldiers.

There’s the new veteran-owned business program from the Steamboat Chamber Resort Association.

And there are the fundraising efforts veterans themselves do to support other veterans.

The list goes on.

“I think the city pretty well deserves it,” Stanko said.

Dick Young, state chairman of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, agreed.

“It’s not any one big thing; it’s really the attitude of a lot people up there year round,” Young said. “They do a lot of good things, and to veterans, it’s pretty important. We thought Steamboat deserved this award.,

The city soon will begin celebrating being named The Most Veteran Friendly Little City in the state by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, or ESGR.

The Steamboat Springs City Council will make a proclamation on May 5 to recognize the occasion.

Stanko would like to fill Citizens Hall with his fellow veterans on that day.

“What’s neat about this award is it will make a lot of people in Steamboat realize that there are an awful lot of veterans who grew up in Steamboat, and there are a lot of veterans who have moved here, and these people have all done something to help the community,” Stanko said. “Almost every one of these veterans are involved in some kind of activity, clubs and different organizations.”

Stanko pointed out there are 36-38 businesses owned by veterans in Steamboat.

He also said major employers here make an effort to hire them.

Steamboat is the second city to earn the ESGR’s Most Veteran Friendly Little City award.

Montrose received the honor last year.

“I think we have a lot to be proud of in this community, and it goes right down to the core of our being that we recognize and respect and reward those individuals who are in our Reserve and our Guard, and our returning veterans,” City Manager Deb Hinsvark said.

Stanko said the city will host a traveling trophy because of the recognition.

“This will bring us some state and national recognition,” Stanko said.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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