Director of Veterans Affairs
Reuben "Ben" Mestas
Colorado Veterans Affairs
Reuben "Ben" Mestas is the Director for the Colorado Division of Veteran Affairs. The Division Director oversees the Western Colorado State Veterans Cemetery, two Colorado veterans grant programs and the Colorado State Veterans Service Office. He is responsible for the training of 83 County Service Officers covering 64 Colorado counties. He has been with the Division for eleven years.
A native of rural Southern Colorado, Mr. Mestas is the son of a coal miner, a migrant worker who became a news reporter and the sixth of eight siblings. He graduated from Trinidad High School and went on to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Public administation with a minor in Speech Communication & Rhetoric at Colorado State University-Pueblo as a first-generation college graduate. While at CSU-Pueblo he excelled in debate and served as an intern for a U.S. Member of Congress. His spouse is a retired science educator and he has two grown children; a son who is a nurse anesthetists, a daughter who is an electrical engineer, and five grandchildren.
A fourth generation United States Army Veteran, Mr. Mestas enlisted in the US Army in 1983 as a communications specialist. His tour of duties included 1st Signal Brigade (Korea), 9th Signal Brigade (Ft Lewis Washington), 4/43 Air Defense Artillery (Giessen FRG), a combat tour during Desert Shield/Desert Storm with Task Force Patriot Defender (Tel Aviv Israel), and Instructor for secure Multichannel/Satellite Communications at the US Army Signal School (Ft. Gordon GA). He received numerous military awards to include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and Southwest Asia Service Medal.
After ten years of honorable service, Mr. Mestas served seven years as the Military and Veterans Coordinator and Casework Supervisor for a Member of Congress in Georgia to include the facilitator for all of the congressional district's Military Service Academy appointments. He served five years as a contract Law Librarian for the Colorado Department of Corrections prior to his service with the Colorado Division of Veteran Affairs.
Mr. Mestas is an active member of American Legion Post 1 and the Mile High Chapter of the American GI Forum. He volunteers for the Colorado High School Activities Association as a Speech and Debate critic and collects western art and antiques.