Additional Veteran’s Resources and Benefits
National Guard Records
The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Archives hold the military personnel records pertaining to:
- Retired members of the Colorado Army National Guard
- Discharged members of the Colorado Army National Guard
- Retired members of the Colorado Air National Guard
- Discharged members of the Colorado Air National Guard.
Due to the large number of COARNG personnel who have been activated and/or deployed, Archives may not have your records if you have were discharged or retired from the Colorado Army National Guard within the last 36 months. If we do not have your records you must contact the COARNG Military Personnel Office (MILPO) at 720-250-1330/1331 to determine the status of your records.
Veterans, who listed Colorado for storage of DD214, can obtain a copy by calling 303-284-6077. Veterans can also get recording and certified copies of public records for veteran-related purposes, including birth, marriage, death, and divorce decrees by contacting your local County Recorder’s Office.
Operation recognition is a program to award high school diplomas to deserving and qualified World War II, Korea, and Vietnam era Veterans. Operation Recognition is authorized by Colorado State Law and is offered by the Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Association of School Boards. The program operates on a voluntary basis among those High Schools.
This is a program providing high school diplomas to the veterans who left school to defend freedom. What started out as only a vision and a promise to honor and thank the veterans who were former high school students who left school to serve our nation in her time of need has become a national program titled “Operation Recognition”. “Operation Recognition” honors the individuals who are the true heroes and real patriots of our country. One day these individuals were carrying textbooks and the next they were carrying weapons in order to protect our nation and preserve our freedom. The sacrifices they made changed their lives and teenage experiences, and in turn, made ours better. A WW II veteran was quoted as saying, “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first and the lesson afterwards.” Each and every veteran obtained experience the hard way and then learned the lessons of life.
Upon request a diploma may be awarded to the honorably discharged veteran or veteran’s family member if requesting posthumously if he/she:
- Served in the Armed forces: WWII, Korea, Vietnam
- Left High School before graduating on order to serve in the U.S. Armed forces
- Is at least 60 years of age
- Has not received a high school diploma (may hold a GED)
- At the time of making the request, resides within the school district or
- At the time of leaving High School to serve in the U.S. armed forces, resided within the school district.
- Copy of Honorably Discharged paper
Veterans License Plates
Disabled Veterans License Plate
Veterans meeting the requirements may apply through the Division of Motor Vehicles for one free Disabled Veteran Plate. To apply you will need to submit:
- Completed application disabled veteran license plate application
- DD214 demonstrating honorable discharge
- An eligibility letter from the Veterans Affairs office stating: 1) the veteran has a 50% or greater disability and 2) the disability is service connected and 3) the disability is permanent. To obtain the letter call 303-284-6077.
- The registration of the vehicle if currently registered or a title receipt or title completion notice from the County.
- Proof of Emissions
- Proof of Insurance
Submit the packet to:
Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles
1881 Pierce Street
Lakewood, CO 80214
Colorado Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Registration
Denver, CO 80261-0016
Branch and Award Specific Plates
The State of Colorado offers veterans a distinct license plate to display their service in the Armed Forces through a Military Veteran Recognition License Plate Program. The veteran must provide proof of military service and/or proof of award of a military related medal. To obtain a “VETERAN” license plate take your DD-214 to your local DMV Office. License plates include:
- U.S. Air Force
- Fallen Air Force
- U.S. Army
- Fallen Army
- U.S. Army Special Forces
- U.S. Coast Guard
- Fallen Coast Guard
- U.S. Marines
- Fallen Marines
- U.S. Navy
- Fallen Navy
- Honorably Discharged Veteran
- Veteran of Afghanistan War
- Korean War Veteran
- Veteran of Iraq War
- Veteran of World War II
- National Guard
- Vietnam Veteran
- 4th Infantry
Medals available include:
- Congressional Medal of Honor
- Silver Star
- Navy Cross
- Air Force Cross
- Bronze Star with Valor
- Bronze Star
- Pearl Harbor Survivor
- Prisoner of War
- Purple Heart
- Distinguished Service Cross.
The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado
The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado was authorized by the Colorado Legislature in 1999 to honor Colorado veterans and opened on September 5, 2002. The cemetery is located on 22.5 acres at 2830 Riverside Parkway, Grand Junction, Colorado, just east of the Grand Junction Regional Center. It has a capacity of 3,337 units, including 1,758 units for casketed remains and 1,579 units for cremated remains (of which 861 are columbarium wall niches). Additionally, there are 775 memorial garden plots available for veterans whose remains were not recovered or were donated to science or are otherwise unavailable for interment.
The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado is intended to be a dignified final resting place for Colorado. There are memorial walks on either side of the creek running northeast to southwest through the Cemetery. These walks pass by each of the five columbaria in front of which are benches for visitors. There are landscaped areas for in-ground interments characterized by thoughtful placement of trees, shrubs, and other plantings. These areas provide additional places for individual reflection.
The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado conveys the appreciation of the people of Colorado to its veterans for answering the call of duty and faithfully and honorably serving the United States of America and the State of Colorado. Eligibility for burial in the cemetery is the same as for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries but includes a residency requirement.
Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption
This program is for Disabled Veterans who are RATED at 100%, Permanently and Totally Disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs AND you must have lived in your home since January 1st. This exemption is 50% of the first 200,000 value of your home. You may only get the exemption on your primary residence. If you have questions please feel free to call The Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs at 303-284-6077 or fax an application into our office at 303-284-3163.
http://www.legion.org/financialassistance – American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) – this also falls under education, they do have scholarships
www.AMF100.org – American Military Family
www.elks.org – Elks Lodge – has financial assistance available and this falls under education also, they have scholarships.
www.thehomefrontcares.org – Home Front Cares
www.impactahero.org/index.php – Impact a Hero
www.naavets.org – National Association of American Veterans
www.nvf.org/contact/rfs/index.php – National Veterans Foundation
www.operationhomefront.net – Operation Home Front
www.reserveaid.org – Reserve Aid
www.saluteheroes.org – Salute Heroes for Wounded Warriors
www.usacares.org – USA Cares
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Our job at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is to work on consumer financial challenges affecting military personnel (including retirees and veterans) and their families. We do that through financial education, monitoring of complaints submitted by consumers to the CFPB, and coordinating with other Federal and state agencies on military consumer protection measures. We understand that military life has some extra challenges, such as deployment and frequent moves, and that those challenges can have powerful financial repercussions. Our job is to make sure that others understand the unique consumer financial challenges faced by the military, and to encourage the CFPB and other agencies use their powers to make financial markets work better for our military and veteran families.
We want to hear from active duty, Guard, Reserve, retirees, family members, and veterans – the whole military community.
- Answers to common consumer financial questions – www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb
- Brochures – http://promotions.usa.gov/cfpbpubs.html
- The CFPB blog – www.consumerfinance.gov/blog
- Tell your story – https://help.consumerfinance.gov/app/tellyourstory
State Tuition Assistance
The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs offers any member of the Colorado National Guard eligibility for state tuition assistance, up to 100% tuition paid at over 35 schools depending on funding available. State funding can be used in conjunction with Federal Tuition Assistance.
This a program provides FREE telecommunication equipment, such as amplified and captioned phones as well as accessories (ring signalers and neck loops or head sets) to assist the deaf and hard of hearing, to those who qualify.
Colorado State Veterans Community Living Centers
Colorado State Veterans Community Living Centers are under the direction of the Colorado Department of Human Services. The mission of the Division of State Veterans Community Living Centers is to honor and serve our nations’ veterans, their spouses and Gold Star parents by creating opportunities for meaningful activity, continued growth and feeling of self-worth in resident-centered long term care and supportive living environments. They are located in Florence, Rifle, Walsenburg, Monte Vista, and Aurora.
Pet Assistance – Assist with finding foster home for pets while mobilized
http://dogsondeployment.org/ – Assist with finding foster homes for dogs while at Training, mobilized
www.guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org – Guardian Angels for Soldiers Pet – Assist with finding foster homes for cats, dogs, birds while mobilized
www.operationnoblefoster.org – Operation Noble Foster – Assist with find foster homes for cats while mobilized
https://pactforanimals.org/pacts-work/military-foster-program/ – Pact For Animals Military Foster Program – Assist with finding foster homes for pets
Veteran ID Card
For those veterans who are not receiving medical care through the Veterans Health Administration, the VA will issue a Veteran ID Card. Enrollment can be started at the VA website for that at this link.
Does Colorado offer a Military identifier on a license or ID?
Yes, you can request a military identifier on your regular/commercial driver’s license or identification card. When applying for the identifier, you must present either your valid military identification card (common access card) OR a DD214. There may be a fee for a duplicate license. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard or Navy are available.
- The military identifier does not extend to spouses or dependents.
- The military identifier cannot be applied to any permit.
License Extensions for Military Personnel
Colorado residents on active-duty military status are eligible for a three-year extension on their current driver license if they are stationed outside the state and unable to renew the license. The extension is free, but the request for extension must include a letter from the Service Member’s commanding officer for verification.
Department of Revenue
Division of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 173350
Denver, CO 80217-3350
Colorado Driver License Exemption
Active duty U.S. Military personnel and their spouses are exempt from obtaining a Colorado driver license when they have a valid driver license issues by another state. Military personnel on active duty in Colorado and who claim another state as their home state of residence may resister their vehicle(s) in Colorado.
Parks & Recreation
Hunting and Fishing License
Under the Department of Natural Resources, the Division of Parks and Wildlife offers the following benefits:
- Free lifetime combination small-game hunting and fishing license for a resident veteran with a permanent service-connected disability of 60% or more (see below).
- No fee for a fishing license to a member of the armed forces who is a resident patient at a military hospital or convalescent station, any resident patient at a USDVA hospital located within the State, or any veteran who is permanently and totally disabled.
- Free admission to any state part or recreation area for those veterans with a Disabled Veterans License Plate.
In order to obtain these benefits, the disabled veterans must supply a proof of disability letter from the Colorado Division of Veteran Affairs. To order the letter, call 303-284-6077.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the State of Colorado are pleased to offer several programs to active duty members of the military and to those who served our country and are disabled. Colorado has the best hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities and the CPW wants to make those opportunities available to as many people as possible. Thank you for your service.
Resident Fishing on Temporary Leave
Colorado residents who are on active duty and permanently stationed outside of the state may fish without a license while in Colorado on temporary leave. The military member must carry a copy of their leave papers with them while fishing and cannot use this exemption for more than 30 days a year.
Military personnel stationed in Colorado on active duty and their family members can qualify to purchase hunting and fishing licenses at the Colorado resident rates. Personnel (and their dependents) qualify for residency if they are on active duty in Colorado under permanent orders. This includes people who were Colorado residents when they entered the armed services and maintain Colorado as their home of record (unless they change their home of record to another state). Military personnel here on active duty must show proof by presenting official military documentation (military orders) when purchasing resident licenses. Active duty does not include reserve status or National Guard.
Any active duty member of the United States Armed Forces stationed at any military facility in Colorado and actively deployed outside the United States or any active duty member of the United States Armed Forces who is a Colorado resident and is deployed outside the United States during the license application deadline period can apply to receive a preference point for a future hunt. A military preference point application must be completed and restrictions apply.
Active duty members of the military are exempt from the $25 preference point fee. Members must pay the $25 preference point fee, and then submit a refund request form to receive a fee refund. To receive a refund for the preference point fee, please submit a refund request form along with a copy of current military orders OR a copy of a current military ID.
License Refund and Point Return if Deployed After Application
Active duty service members who are deployed overseas and cannot use a license that they applied for and received can get a refund of the license purchase and get any preference points returned by returning the license with a copy of deployment orders. For information, contact Limited Licensing at (303) 291-7381.
Wounded Warrior Program
In 2010, the governor of Colorado signed a bill authorizing the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to issue licenses for the US Armed Forces “Wounded Warrior” program. In response, the Wildlife Commission set aside a number of free licenses for members of the Wounded Warrior or Safe Harbor program. While there are limits on the number of licenses that can be issued (100 each female deer, elk and pronghorn and 100 total male deer, elk and pronghorn), the goal of the CPW is to issue as many of these licenses as possible to qualified members of the Wounded Warrior program.
Wounded Warrior Program requirements include:
- Must be a member of the US Armed Forces and a Colorado resident or stationed in Colorado.
- Must be returning from post-Sept. 11, 2001 overseas contingency operation.
- Must be assigned to a military medical treatment facility at the time of application.
- Must be a qualifying member of the United States Armed Services Wounded Warrior or Safe Harbor Program. Applications for the Wounded Warrior program are available from the CPW Limited Licensing Unit at (303) 291-7380.
Veteran’s Lifetime Combination Small Game Hunting/Fishing License (VA Combo License)
For Colorado residents who are also disabled veterans, the CPW offers a Free Lifetime VA Combo License. To qualify for this license, a disabled veteran must provide the following documentation:
- Proof of a service-connected disability of 60% or more, as rated by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
- Any person born on or after January 1st, 1949, must have completed a hunter’s safety course before applying for the VA Combo License.
- Purple Heart recipients, who can provide documented proof, are also eligible for a VA Combo License.
For more information about the small game/fishing license, or to obtain an application, please call (303) 291-7235.
Travel & Transportation
If you have a qualifying Military ID, the RTD system to include the light rail is no charge to you. Contact RTD for more information.