May 18, 2023 – El Paso County Veteran Services Division announces retired US Army Command Sergeant Major Roger Ehrke as the 2022 El Paso County Veteran of the Year. He was recognized and presented with the award during the Military Affairs Council Armed Forces Luncheon on Thursday, May 18, 2023.
“I am deeply honored to be named Veteran of the Year by El Paso County, a recognition I share with the devoted volunteers serving our local Veterans. Our collective passion drives us to uplift these brave individuals, celebrating their courage and resilience,” said Roger Ehrke, 2022 El Paso County Veteran of the Year. “This cherished acknowledgment fuels my commitment to continue this meaningful work, making a profound difference in our Veterans’ lives.”
Roger’s dedication and commitment to veterans in El Paso County have spanned many years and various roles. His military career began with the US Army, serving tours in Vietnam and Desert Storm. He concluded in 1996 as a Command Sergeant Major of a helicopter aviation brigade at Ft. Carson. Throughout his career, he earned numerous commendations, including three Bronze Star Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, and many more.
His most notable contribution to serving the Veterans of El Paso County is his 16-year tenure as the Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade president. Under his leadership, the event has grown tremendously. In 2022 alone, Roger raised close to $30,000 to ensure a successful event while also coordinating and garnering support from the community to include the participation of more than 2,000 veterans.
He has also been an active member of various veterans’ organizations. Roger serves as the national vice president of the Armed Forces Top Enlisted Association (AFTEA). In addition, he has been a member of The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) Chapter 1 in Colorado Springs for 20 years. He is also a proud member of American Legion Post 209 in central Colorado Springs, an organization dedicated to mutual helpfulness and serving all veterans and the El Paso County community.
In 2022, Roger stepped up to help families of deceased veterans navigate the challenges they faced after their loved one’s passing, including accompanying surviving spouses to medical appointments, informing them of available veteran and military benefits, and even assisting with tasks around the house.
Each year, El Paso County honors a veteran for exemplary military service and continued commitment to serving fellow veterans and our community. Previous award recipients include Skylar Nelson, Nanette Brédé Mueller, Duane K.L. France, Victor M. Fernandez, and Leo F. Martinez.
“We are honored to serve our veterans and recognize them for their exemplary service to our community,” said Marshall Bosworth, El Paso County Veteran Services Division Manager. “We encourage others to nominate those veterans who are going above and beyond for El Paso County veterans and our region.”
El Paso County would like to thank the well-deserving nominees, including Barbara Green, Damian McCabe, James Szczur, Mindy King, Robert Fildes, Roger Fortin, Rosa Le, and Shaun Guilfoil, for their continued service to the veteran community.
To learn more about El Paso County Veteran Services, visit www.justicervices.elpasoco.com/veteran-services