Stand Down 2023 will happen on October 19, 20, and 21st at the Shasta District Fairgrounds in Anderson, California.
What is it you ask?
“Stand Down” is a military command used during the war to describe the practice of removing combat troops from the field and taking care of their basic needs in a safe area. As Army Veteran Martin Glenn describes it, “Put your weapons down. Stop what you are doing. Cease hostility, no more fighting; wait.”
The North Valley Stand Down Association (NVSDA) has held this event for 17 years, with a short break in 2020-2022. It is primarily for homeless veterans, a significant number of whom have had little or no contact with the VA or other agencies. The intent of Stand Down is to offer “A Hand up, not a Handout.” Active-duty personnel, veterans, and their significant others are also welcome.
According to the NVSDA, since the first Stand Down in San Diego in 1988, Stand Downs have taken place in over 200 cities nationwide. Over 100,000 veterans and their families have benefited and these events have proven to be very effective in breaking the cycle of homelessness among veterans and their families.
The free community services available at this event include:
Temporary homeless shelter (for veterans and their families and pets), job services and unemployment insurance information, medical, dental, and eye services, Social Security, Shasta County Women Refuge, driver’s license and state ID card, information from DMV, drug and alcohol counseling, Veterans’ Administration Benefit information, general assistance/Calworks and Food Stamps, clothing and hygiene comfort kits, veterinary services, 3 meals a day, entertainment and much more.
This year Carolyn Glenn from the Cheula 92 American Legion Auxiliary in McCloud is the Registration Coordinator for the Volunteers. She works closely with the Registration Coordinators for the Service Providers and the Veterans under the leadership of Dave Cockrill (Post 197), Cindy Koop (Unit 746), and the NVSDA Board of Directors. The NVSDA consists of members from the Shasta County American Legion Posts, Units, and Sons, along with the Veterans Administration, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and other community organizations.
“I was a volunteer at the 2019 Stand Down and I realized what an important event this is. There will be military surplus clothing donated by the Department of Defense (DOD) as well as donations from people wanting to help. It is very satisfying to help veterans with even something so simple as helping them pick out boots or a jacket,” says Glenn. “Participating in a Stand Down is a lesson for people to understand the needs of the men and women who served our country and offer them a safe place. We haven’t had a Stand Down in Siskiyou County in many, many years, so I’d like Siskiyou County veterans to attend. I’m working with the new Siskiyou County Veterans Service Officer, Jay Brehm, to get the word out.”
Transportation is available, with pickups on Thursday and a return ride on Saturday.
The northern bus route starts at 0800 am Thursday at the Yreka Fairgrounds Armory, 2nd stop is at the Mt. Shasta Armory, 3rd stop is at Ammereiti’s in Castella, 4th stop is at the Chevron in Shasta Lake City, and 5th stop is at the VA clinic in Redding. There are other routes available.
NVSDA expects 400-600 to attend each day, including staff, providers, media, and dignitaries. This 3-day event requires dozens of volunteers working day and night to support all the activities and services that are offered. There are even volunteers for the 24/7 security detail for the homeless veterans staying overnight.
Anyone can volunteer, in advance or on the day of the event.
For more information, or to volunteer, call Beverly at (530) 737-8486 or Carolyn at (650) 224-7725. Find the NVSD on Facebook or write to P.O. Box 492093, Redding, CA. 96049-2093.
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