Small world, Stephanie. I live in a litte town in Nebraska about 90 miles north of Colby. You may not want to take it as gospel that you can't get the info from VA. My experience with VA (admittedly anecdotal) indicates the first answer to any question is, "No, we can't do that".
I would suggest you contact a local veteran's organization, such as the American Legion, or the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). They might be able to provide some assistance themselves. Perhaps more likely, they should be able to tell you how to contact the County Veteran's Service Officer. I believe Thomas County should have a Service Officer. If it does, and if that individual is conscientious and willing to assist you, you might be able to yet get info from VA.
I think it is certainly worth a phone call or two. If possible, please keep us posted on progress, or lack thereof.