Hundreds turn out, connect with services at Nevada County All Veterans Stand Down
What: All Veterans Stand Down
Where: Sugar Pine Lodge on the Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road, Grass Valley, CA
When: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today
Tom Munroe stayed angry all the time.
A Vietnam War veteran, Munroe said it took some 40 years before he saw someone about anger stemming from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
He attended his first All Veterans Stand Down about 12 years ago, connecting with Evelyn White of the Veterans Service Office and getting treatment.
“Everything is a problem. Everything is a conflict,” he said of having PTSD, adding his outlook has since significantly changed. “I was just able to look at life differently.”
Hundreds of veterans attended this year’s All Veterans Stand Down, which continues from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. today at the Sugar Pine Lodge on the Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road.
Veterans connect with a variety of services at the annual event. Some need treatment. Others want flu shots.
For Robert Kilroy, it was the latter. He also intended to speak with a dentist.
Kilroy’s been coming to the event for the past three or four years. Friday was the first year for his daughter, Kate.
“People are just very eager to help,” Kate Kilroy said as she enjoyed a breakfast of orange juice and fruit with her father. “I really enjoy coming out because it opens my eyes to community services I could be donating my time to.”
Bonnie Breault, an Army veteran, paused for a moment near a table offering flu shots. Breault’s 6-month-old daughter, Haven, rested securely in a baby carrier strapped around her shoulders.
Breault said she and her family currently live in the Salvation Army’s Booth Family Center. They’re looking for permanent housing, one reason Breault went to the All Veterans Stand Down.
She connected with Hospitality House, and hopes to get involved in its Rapid Rehousing program.
“I’m glad I came,” she said.
Veterans like Breault strolled through the Sugar Pine Lodge, pausing at tables staffed by a range of service providers.
Gary Wheeler, with Wags and Warriors, stood just outside the lodge. Buddy, a 2½-year-old Labrador, sat by his side.
Wheeler’s group connects veterans with dogs, which can help with PTSD, he said.
“I have problems in crowds — crowds, clutter, noise,” Wheeler said. “It’s good to have him with me. It’s a calming thing.”
Securing that help, whether it’s an animal companion or a dental check, is what’s most important to Munroe.
“Seek help when you don’t feel right,” Munroe advised. “Don’t hide.”
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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