COARSEGOLD – All area veterans are invited to a family-style Stand-Down on Saturday, Aug. 16 at Yosemite Lakes Church in Coarsegold, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., sponsored by Caring Veterans of America.
The upbeat day offers friendship, free food, clothes, and entertainment, including some exciting wrestling action.
With music by the band Crossroads, and niceties such as haircuts provided by generous local barbers, organizers also have benefit advisors on hand to provide guidance for any vet who wants it. Employment and resource information will be available, also. Veterans should bring their Military Identification or DD214 Form.
For more information on this or any other local stand-down, contact Caring Veterans of America Commander Terry Cole by phone (559) 760-5056 or via email. Commander Cole is a founding member of the Caring Veterans of America, comprised of “veterans serving veterans,” and their families. The former combat engineer and paratrooper, Sp. 5/ 101st Airborne Division, was in Vietnam from 1966 – 68. He is always surprised at how much the word needs to get out about what’s available for those who need it.
Caring Vets Stand Down coordinator Brandon Murray served with the 1st Cavalry Division/HHC Scout Platoon. He offers understanding on why these Stand-Downs and other efforts toward helping veterans are so important.
“We believe a lot of veterans aren’t getting the services they need or that they’re not going in to get the services they need. At these Stand Downs, things are a lot more at home and relaxed,” says the Gulf War veteran. “We organizers are veterans. We have the same issues and the same problems, so we understand.” Brandon Murray can be reached at (559) 676-8463.
The term “stand down” is used in the military to refer to a time when spent combat units require and are allotted time to rest and recover from battle, in a safe and secure environment. In the case of the Coarsegold Stand Down, and others like it across the nation, the words apply to community-based programs meant to help homeless and at-risk veterans get the supplies and services needed to survive stateside.
California is home to 1.7 million veterans.