Veterans served, honored thanks to committed volunteers
As we are reminded each Memorial Day in May, and each Veterans Day in November, when it comes to our military veterans service to our country, “All gave some. Some gave all.”
But too often, as reports on the Veterans Affairs Department uncovered in recent years, our nation has fallen short in giving our veterans their due.
Thankfully, here in western Nevada County, we have members of our community committed to showing support and providing the kind of services our veterans need through the Nevada County All Veterans Stand Down.
On Friday, our beautiful Nevada County Fairgrounds served as host of the first of two days of Stand Down services (See story, page A1) from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. today, those efforts will continue at the Sugar Pine Lodge at the fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road. The event is open to only veterans and their families — along with those community volunteers who are so devoted to providing services to our veterans.
The main purpose of The Nevada County All Veterans Stand Down, a nonprofit organization, “is to provide services to any eligible U.S. Military veteran, senior veterans, disabled veterans, veteran’s spouses and dependents; without regard to race, color, national origin, creed, age, sex or religion.”
The resources provided include food, shelter, clothing, health screenings and VA Social Security benefits counseling. Veterans can also receive referrals for health care, housing solutions, employment, substance use treatment and mental health counseling. They can also receive information on financial assistance, judicial consult, medical and dental attention, home health care, and sight therapies.
“These local volunteers and such providers give of their own personal time on these two days in a myriad of ways: meeting personal needs, graciously entertaining, serving up healthy meals, and connecting with good fellowship to all of the Veterans that are able to attend,” the Stand Down’s website states.
The origins of the Stand Down effort date back to the mid 1980s, when officials from the Vietnam Veterans of San Diego became concerned about increasing numbers of homeless veterans coming to VVSD for services. Director Robert Van Keuren remembered Stand Down, respite he and his military unit were given after being particularly hard hit in Cambodia during the Vietnam war.
Oral Stallings, Victor Traverso and Nick DeZaparkanszky helped bring it to Nevada County, where veterans comprise nearly 10 percent of the Nevada County population, according to U.S. census figures.
“Don’t forget what these men and women have done for our community,” Stallings, vice president of Nevada County’s All Veterans Stand Down, said in advance of this week’s Stand Down.
Thanks to the efforts of Stallings and all of his fellow volunteers, Nevada County’s veterans will leave our fairgrounds this weekend knowing our community has not forgotten their service to our country.
The weekly Our View column represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.
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