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

40 years of Red Flag ends on high note

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25. With a...
 
 

Never underestimate your impact

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — Every day I visit our great Airmen and every day I come across more than one that underestimates their impact to the mission. There’s the one-stripe maintainer, “just repaneling an aircraft,” for the next day’s flight, or the young personalist, “just issuing another identification card,” or the defender, “just guarding...
 
 

Challenge yourself: Never give up, never quit

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — I once read that newly created cells in our bodies do one of two things: they either begin to decay or they become more vital. These cells choose their path based on what we demand of them. If we are sedentary, our brains signal our cells to decay; but...
 

 

SECDEF visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases during an all-call at the Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit hangar on Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 26. Carter’s department is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluations for the...
 
 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

WASHINGTON — The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians...
 
 

TRICARE pharmacy rules changing for maintenance, brand-name drugs

WASHINGTON — TRICARE beneficiaries who take certain brand-name medications on a regular basis will be required to fill prescriptions at a military treatment facility or through a mail-in program beginning Oct. 1, a Defense Health Agency official said here Aug. 20. George Jones, DHA’s pharmacy operations division chief, said the new policy does not apply...
 




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>