Skip To Content

Making a positive impact on Weld County veterans

Posted on 11/12/2020
Making a positive impact on Weld County veterans

In Weld County’s Department of Veterans Services, there’s strength in numbers. In fact, the effort of the three-person staff has resulted in many of Weld County’s 17,683 veterans receiving more funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) over the last two years.

While final data for 2020 is not yet available, in 2019, Weld County veterans received more than $138 million in funding from the VA, a $12 million increase from 2018, according to the National Center of Veterans Analysis and Statistics.

Differing from the VA, who is a benefit provider, Veterans Services assists veterans with submitting applications for education benefits, benefits related to service-connected or non-service-connected disabilities, pensions, burial items such as headstones and markers and enrollment in the VA health care system.

Through September 2020, 914 people have received help by visiting the office in person and staff has fielded 5,299 phone calls. While both numbers are down from September 2019 totals of 1,899 walk-ins and 5,959 phone calls, likely as a result of Weld County offices being closed to the public from March 17 to May 4, the commitment of Veterans Services to continue serving in a challenging year has never wavered. 

“While our lobby was closed, we worked from home doing claims by mail, on the internet and over the phone,” said Amber Peplinski, Weld County Veterans Service Officer Supervisor. “We had to do a lot of rearranging as far as scheduling, but the veterans have been so supportive.”

Often mailed were documents needing to be signed by veterans before they could be submitted to the VA. What usually could be done in person at the office with the help of a Veterans Services Officer now had to be done through regular mail, making a 10-minute process take seven days. Add in the fact that staff missed work some days to keep themselves healthy, and the work done in veterans services grew even more challenging.

Besides continuing to submit claims during COVID-19, Veterans Services also provided valuable information to new veterans inquiring about their VA benefits for the first time. If veterans needed assistance with something other than what could be done at the office, Peplinski mentioned outside agencies such as the Veterans Resource Center or the American Legion were helpful with other needs.

“We are eternally grateful of for the service of our veterans, and equally as proud of our Veterans Services Officers for what they do,” Weld County Commissioner Chair Mike Freeman said. “To continue serving veterans in a challenging year reflects our commitment to providing them with the assistance they deserve.”

Peplinski is also proud of the effort that she and Veterans Services Officers Wendy Nally and Nickie Phillips have put forth this year. “We were definitely happy that we were able to continue working because it was a time [veterans] needed us the most,” Peplinski said. “It was important we kept doing our job.”

More information about the Veterans Services Office can be found by visiting, the "Veterans Services" page under the "Departments" tab of this site.