|El Paso County Announces Veteran of the Year
Victor M. Fernandez Honored by EPC Veterans Service Office
|El Paso County’s Veterans Service Office will honor the Victor M. Fernandez on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 as the recipient of the 2nd Annual Veteran of the Year award. Among other El Paso County Community endeavors, Fernandez has been the driving force behind the establishment of the Pikes Peak National Veterans Cemetery
“The idea of Veteran of the Year was suggested by former El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark,” said Marshall Bosworth, El Paso County’s Veterans Services Officer. “This is a way to honor veterans in the El Paso County community for their contributions in helping Veterans and their family members. The Veterans Service Office developed the award’s criteria in collaboration with County Commissioners to guide the selection process.”
Fernandez has been working on bringing the Pikes Peak National Veterans Cemetery to the region for the past several decades. He has been the driving force behind project, serving as Chair of the local cemetery committee. This effort led to the purchase of a 350-acre site off of Drennan Road that will become the national cemetery for our veterans. This site will be sufficient to bury or intern 95,000 veterans and their spouses.
Fernandez has worked tirelessly with national, state and local leaders to ensure that the cemetery became a reality. This included securing legislative approval and the needed funding, reviewing multiple sites, making the final site selection, and initiating the design for the cemetery.
Now that the Pikes Peak National Cemetery is a reality and Fernandez has stepped down as chairman of the Cemetery Committee; The “Support Committee at Pikes Peak National Cemetery” has been established and will continue to support the Pikes Peak National Cemetery.
Fernandez is a lifelong Colorado resident, born and raised in Trinidad. His family has roots going back more than 150 years. His great grandfather fought in the Civil War. His father was a World War II veteran and his father-in-law served in the Pacific during World War II and was on General MacArthur’s staff during the Korean conflict, and is interred at Ft. Logan National Veterans Cemetery in Denver.
Fernandez graduated from West Point in the class of 1959 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the artillery. He met his wife Sherry at Fort Carson in 1960, where they were married in 1961.
During his thirty year military career, Fernandez served two tours in Panama, two in Vietnam, two in Germany, and a variety of stateside posts. He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and Army War College. His numerous military awards include the Defense Superior Service medal, the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Defense and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Since retiring from the Army in 1989, Fernandez has remained active in Colorado Springs Veterans affairs, serving as President of the Pikes Peak Chapter of Military Officers of Association of America, founding member of the Southeast Family Center and Armed Services YMCA, founding member of the Board of Directors for the Home Front Cares, and Team Leader of a group welcoming our Hungry Heroes airplanes returning from the combat theaters in Iran and Afghanistan,
The Veteran of the Year ceremony is 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., on Thursday, Sepy. 27, at the El Paso County Veterans Monument in Bear Creek Regional Park, 2002 Creek Crossing, Colorado Springs. (Next to the Community Services Department office building, one block east of 21st Street off of W. Rio Grande Street).
The Veterans Service Office offers a sincere thank you to the 2018 event sponsors, The Broadmoor, Pikes Peak Regional Building Department and USAA.
Contact Jennifer Clark for more information about the Veteran of the Year and the ceremony at, (719) 520-7750 or email at JenniferClark@ElPasoCo.com
We believe our veterans deserve our support and recognition for their exemplary military service, outstanding community service and endless encouragement to other local veterans. El Paso County will honor one veteran annually, for his or her efforts defending our country and continued willingness to serve their neighbors and community as Veteran of the Year.
Photo Attached: Victor M. Fernandez