Marine to run veterans' services

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— When Routt County wanted to staff its Veterans' Service Office, they called in the Marines.

Actually, one Marine. But from the looks of the county's newest recruit, that's all that is needed.

"Last night before bed I was doing research and looking at news items," said Michael Condie about researching information for his new job.

And talk about gung-ho:

"I've already started developing a Web site," Condie said with a clipped efficiency.

Not bad for a man who hasn't officially set up shop yet.

Condie, a 28-year veteran of the Marine and Reserve Marine Corps, already has big plans for the part-time job, which is designed to serve the veterans of Routt County.

Not surprising, said Routt County Commissioner Ben Beall, who, along with Commissioners Dan Ellison and Nancy Stahoviak, thought Condie was perfect for the job.

"You could tell he was enthusiastic," Beall said, pointing out Condie volunteers at places such as the local food bank.

"One of the things that steered us to choose him is the fact he's actively involved with veterans activities," Stahoviak added.

Condie, who retired as a sergeant major, currently works with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion in Steamboat Springs. That's in addition to his full-time construction job.

"We want him to expand his (veterans') involvement and get familiar with the outlying areas," Stahoviak said.

Condie, who came to Steamboat Springs three years ago, replaces Dave Kornely, who is retiring.

He minces no words about why he wanted the job.

"I thought I could do a better job," Condie said. "I think they (veterans) could have been guided better provided with more information."

Condie said his last job in the Corps was taking care of Marines. Now, he wants to take care of all veterans.

"There's a lot of things out there for people who serve in the military," he said. "They're all eligible to fall within the Veterans' Administration and they're eligible to be taken care of."

Condie has already gone to work on the board of commissioners.

"One's a Navy Seal (Beall) and registered with the VFW, and Dan (Ellison) needs to get registered, and I let him know that," Condie said.

The retired Marine plans to actively seek out veterans throughout Routt County to get them signed up in service organizations.

He says many of them don't know about benefits offered by these organizations, things such as saving money with mail-order prescriptions.

Condie says he plans to use different mediums to get the word out to veterans, everything from fliers, radio and newspapers to the Internet.

He can be reached by e-mail at jodysec@juno.com, but address it: Attention: Michael Condie. So far, his office hours will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, and 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday. His office is inside the Colorado Work Force Center at Sundance Plaza. He hasn't made a schedule for Saturday yet.

"I plan to make myself available," Condie spoke like a true Marine.

In the words of the U.S. Marine Corps: "A marine leader makes sure his men are comfortably clothed, housed and justly treated."

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