Veterans

March 31, 2012

9th Annual Veteran Stand Down a success

By Ron LaBar
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Taylor Worley
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joel Gurrero, 99th Medical Support Squadron information systems technician, serves lunch to local veterans during the 2012 Las Vegas Veterans Stand Down, March 21, 2012. Hundreds of veterans attended the ninth annual Veterans Stand Down at the East Las Vegas Senior Community Center. The two-day event featured more than 100 community sponsors who offered assistance on health, housing, employment and legal advice.

A couple of weeks ago, I sat in on a planning meeting for the Ninth Annual “Veterans Stand Down” hosted by U.S.VETS,  March 21-22  at the East Las Vegas Senior Community Center.  I dropped by the Stand Down to see how it was going. Much credit goes to the 15 sponsors who donated more than $26,000 and 109 provider agencies representing just about every contact a veteran might need, and the 426 volunteers, many from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases, who filled a variety of jobs – from cooks and servers, to shuttle drivers, baggage checkers, traffic and parking, and distributing food items and clothing.

I got an inkling of how popular Stand Down would be when I arrived at the community center.  Not a spot to be found in the huge parking lot or for half a mile on either side of Stewart Avenue.  A courteous young man directed me to the Rivera Sports Center, about a mile away on Stewart, where I would catch a shuttle back to the center.  The guy running the shuttle stop was Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Washington, a Pennsylvania native, who is assigned to the 422 Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis.  Benjamin had on the official bright orange t-shirt worn by volunteers.

I joined a tour of the facilities led by Shalimar Cabrera, Site Director of U.S. Vets of Las Vegas, and “head honcho” of the event. Ms. Cabrera showed us the sign-in process, and then we headed into a large room staffed by volunteers from every imaginable provider service.  Then we stopped by the Goodwill Store, and watched homeless or at risk veterans fill up shopping bags with food and clothing.  Attendees are issued vouchers at sign-in, good for food and clothing.  It was my observation that nobody was too concerned about how many items the vets bagged.  Walter Lescano, Director of Community Affairs and Donations for Goodwill of Southern Nevada, agreed.  “If they need it, they can have it.”

We crossed the spacious central outdoor patio, where lunch was being served (they also served breakfast and dinner) and D. J. Kuzyn Brucie supplied the music.  I felt like we were transported back to the sixties and seventies when “Proud Mary” blasted out to the obvious enjoyment of the many Vietnan-era Veterans.  Shalimar told me that both Brucie and Thursday’s D.J.,  “Donnie”, were working gratis.

We next went to the hygienic services area, where you could get a shower, shave, and a haircut and pick up personal care items.  Ten barbers volunteered their services, including

Cherol Piermarini of Posares Salon, who was glad to donate her time.

I called Shalimar later, to complement her on a job exceedingly well done.  She told me the best guess is that some 620 Veterans attended this year’s Stand Down.  Several Veterans were hired on the spot, and more than 80 were set up for job interviews.  Thirteen were given housing, and 130 received appointments for further interviews as housing becomes available.  The Las Vegas Justice Court cleared 95 warrants.

All in all, it was an extremely well organized event and a pretty darn good day for our Veterans.

Much thanks to the many sponsors, providers and volunteers who made it possible!




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

Red Flag 15-3 wraps up

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 69th Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., lands during Red Flag 15-3 at Nellis AFB, Nev., July 21. A typical Red Flag exercise in...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Darin Russell

Ground testing for F-35 gun conducted at Edwards AFB

Lockheed Martin photograph by Darin Russell An F-35A Lightning II, tail number AF-2, fires a burst of rounds down range at the Edwards Gun Harmonizing Range on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., July 17. The F-35 Joint Strike Figh...
 
 

Separated but not alone

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about was, “how am...
 

 

Mishap prevention 101

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Here is something I would like to share with my readers. This information is geared toward supervisors, but we all play a part in the mishap prevention program, and when we know better, we tend to do better. I will discuss a few things supervisors should do within their...
 
 
raptor

Raptor pilots reach 1,000 flight hours in F-22

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz Majs. Ethan Waitte and Thomas Borrego, 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron pilots, stand with Lt. Col. Matt Allen, 422nd TES F-22 Raptor test director, after returning from ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

Creech Airmen showcase RPA at Canadian airshow

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Senior Airman Kaitlyne LaRocque, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron MQ-1 Predator crew chief, left, and Staff Sgt. Craig Stewart, 432nd AMXS MQ-1 crew chief, prepare a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>