A Stand Down for homeless and other at risk veterans will be held Friday and Saturday, September 23rd and 24th at the Tuolumne Veterans Memorial Hall in Tuolumne City.
Stand Down Chairman Frank Smart was Wednesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.
The event is sponsored by Chapter 391, Vietnam Veterans of America of Tuolumne County and assisted by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
A Stand Down is an event where homeless and other at risk veterans can come to a safe place and receive help.
The term Stand Down was widely used in Vietnam to describe bringing a combat unit in from the field and ‘stand down’ from combat operations for a period of seven to fourteen days.
During that time the unit would be on light duty, tend to minor wounds, re-equip and train new personnel. The soldiers would also have an opportunity to get hot food, showers and perhaps some cold drinks.
The idea was to rejuvenate body and mind before returning to combat operations in the field.
Now the term is used to provide a place where veterans can come and access everything the VA has to offer them as honorably discharged US military veterans.
The VA will have a counseling van, a health van and other services on hand to assist the veterans.
Also at the event which runs 8 am to 5 pm each day, will be the VA’s Homeless Veterans Rehabilitation Program, Social Security, The Job Connection, EDD, the Tuolumne County Veterans Office and others including De Vry University.
The most popular attraction at the event will be access to free dental. A dental van owned by Toothtravellers, Inc., a non-profit organization, will be on hand. Homeless veterans will have first priority on dental care. Local dentists will be manning the van, which has two operatories.
According to the VA, there are 10,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are homeless.
Smart and volunteers have put on two other Stand Downs in Tuolumne County. The last one was in 2009.
Veterans should pre-register with Val Gilbert by calling (209) 588-2604.
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.
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