Carl McDaniel, El Paso County Veterans Service Officer, received the 2017 Louis Nardini Award from the Colorado Veterans Service Officers Association.

The Colorado County Veterans Service Officers Association (CVSOA) annually presents the Louis Nardini Award to an Outstanding County Veterans Service Officer or a VSO staff member for recognition of outstanding performance and achievements. The award is named for Louis Nardini, a former Director of the Colorado Department of Veterans Affairs.

McDaniel said, “It is indeed an honor, but I’d like to deflect that honor to the Commissioners, County Administrator and the staff. This is not an ‘I’ award, it’s a team award. I appreciate the team that supports us throughout the year. It’s really an award for El Paso County, not just the Veterans Service Office.”

McDaniel went on to say, “I strive to help veterans, their families, and widows understand and receive benefits they are entitled too. No one veteran or service connected disability is alike and it’s that challenge that keeps me working hard for our veteran community.”

McDaniel began working for El Paso County in 2009 and was named the Veterans Service Officer in 2015. He was a finalist for the Louis Nardini Award in 2014. McDaniel retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Civil Engineering Officer in 1997. He spent a tour of duty during the Gulf War, Operation Southern Watch (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia) 1992-1993. Prior to working for the County, he worked multiple positions for the State of Florida, including the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

El Paso County is home to 98,000 veterans. El Paso County’s Veterans Service Office, with a staff of seven individuals, has more than 8,500 client visits a year. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid more than $591,000,000 in federal benefits to our local veterans in 2016.