News

Stand-down event scheduled

Kitsap County is jointly sponsoring an event designed to bring needed services to veterans who may need a helping hand to get on their feet.

“There are a lot of homeless veterans in Kitsap County,” said Human Services Planner Leif Bentsen. “They’ve done their service and now they need some assistance. We are honoring their service.”

The “Stand Down” event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Pavilion on the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.

The event has a long list of co-sponsors, including the Suquamish Tribe which has contributed $3,000.

Bentsen said “Stand Down” is an old military term revived during the Vietnam War era, which loosely describes a period of rest and recreation following a spell of active duty.

The event will provide three levels of service: Help with governmental bureaucracy will be available, including enrolling for benefits and helping with claims. Tangible goods, such as clothing and health items, will be available. Finally, shots, showers, meals and haircuts will be offered to anyone who needs them.

Anyone who has served six months or more in the military will be eligible to participate, although they must bring their DD-214 or discharge papers. Unaccompanied family members — spouse or children only - need to bring the vet's DD-214 along with proof they are related to the veteran.

Secure baggage areas for personal items and carts will be provided for the duration of the event.

Bentsen said local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts hold regular veteran’s events “but this is the first time we have done something on this scale in the county.” He would not estimate how many veterans may participate.

“There are numerous veterans who still haven’t been able to get back into society,” said Betty Hickman of Bremerton, who helped to organize the event. “While they were in the service they may have seen things that shocked them. And while may of them have families to stand behind them, others have needed to deal with this on their own.”

For more information call (360) 337 4883 or go to www.kitsapgov.com.

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