Sonora, CA — The second annual Stand Down event for homeless veterans closed Saturday noon at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds by helping more than 30 vets.
According to Coordinator Frank Smart, himself a Viet Nam veteran, this year’s event was far superior to last year’s inaugural because there were more services available to the 31 veterans (including two women) who registered for the Thursday through Saturday noon event .
Smart commented that the Veterans Administration was present to make sure the vets could learn of available benefits. In addition 13 veterans were fitted for glasses at no expense. Eight meals were served by volunteers organizations. The vets also received free clothing items and young women from the Sonora High School cosmetology class treated the vets to complimentary hair cuts.
Smart would like to see Tuolumne County host a third annual Stand Down but he may not take a full leadership role next year.
And Smart commented, "It’s not a hand out for the vets, it’s a hand up!"