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Blunt retires after 37 years

Posted: Thursday, Nov 15th, 2012

Saguache County commissioner Mike Spearman, right, presents Tom Blunt, left, with commemorative plaque for his 37 years of service to the county. Courier photo by Lauren Krizansky

Courier staff writer

SAGUACHE — Tom Blunt is retiring, but it is unlikely he will stop serving his community any time soon.

On Monday, Blunt formally retired from being the Saguache County Veterans Service Officer, but his county service goes back 37 years. In 1974, he was elected Saguache County Treasurer and he held the office for eight years. Subsequently, he served as the Saguache County Assessor for 12 years, was a member of the Saguache County Land Use Planning Commission and the Saguache County Clinic Board in addition to holding the Town of Saguache Mayor Pro Tem position for two years.

“It is the season that we are celebrating veterans and their unselfish service to our country,” said Saguache County Commissioner Mike Spearman while presenting Blunt with his commemorative plaque. “This is an honor and privilege.”

Blunt considers himself a semi-Valley native since his family relocated to the Valley during World War II from Oklahoma when he was a young boy. He is a Sargent graduate, married for 58 years this month and has two daughters. Before his 37 years working for the county, he passed 21 years in the armed forces. He served four years in the Army where he fought in North Korea, 17 years with the Air Force where he was stationed in Thailand during Vietnam and one year in both the Army National Guard and the Air Force Reserves. After living in nine countries, he retired from the armed forces in 1973, and his soldiering experience has made his final service position one with a personal connection.

“Any recognition (veterans) are getting now is long overdue,” Blunt said after the retirement ceremony. “That is one thing I admire about our commissioners. They have been more than supportive. They have given us 125 percent.”

He credits the commissioners’ support to successes in the veteran’s service office. During his tenure, 576 veterans and military families have been helped in Saguache County through designated veterans monies averaging $1.7 million annually. The funds have provided medical services, educational opportunities and pension options.

“I’ve never felt that you have had to be paid for everything you do for your community and county,” Blunt said. “I have had a heck of a career and it is still ongoing. If you start something, stick it out so you know how to do it right.”

Although he won’t be coming into the office any longer, Blunt will make himself available to the county until the position is filled and he will remain the Saguache County American Legion Commander, retaining weekly duties.

“I thoroughly enjoy working,” Blunt said. “The 37 years I have put into the county have been enjoyable. I accidentally made it a career to be a service oriented person.”

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