In times of war, the term “stand down” represents a break. A break from the fighting. A chance to eat a hot meal, to sleep on a cot instead of the ground, and maybe to get a shower. Some time to regroup, to decompress, and to rejuvenate before heading back into the fray.
Some veterans discover those needs don’t end when they muster out of the military and return to civilian life. They face different kinds of foes: homelessness, poverty, and health concerns.
The team at Sacramento Stand Down – most of them veterans themselves – understand this, and will conduct their annual Stand Down on August 9 and 10 at the McClellan Conference Park. The two-day event is expected to offer 300 veterans rejuvenation in the form of hot meals, haircuts, medical and dental services, mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder counseling, and access to veterans benefits including housing. They will also have access to court services, health and human services, drug and alcohol services, and kennel and veterinary services for their four legged friends.
The organization moved the event to McClellan Park this year. Organizers want the veterans to know they will be in a safe and secure environment, spokesperson Brit Kelleher said.
“Locating it at McClellan is a big factor,” she said. “It’s well known within the veteran community. And the thing I think we’re proudest of is that we are bringing in 50 nonprofit community partners, and at no cost to the veterans.”
Into its third decade, the Sacramento Stand Down has provided roughly 60,000 hot meals to veterans. They’ve helped thousands of veterans obtain replacements for lost discharge papers, military ID cards, drivers’ licenses, and other personal documents. Participating agencies include the U.S. Veterans Administration, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Labor, the Employment Development Department, and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Stand Down runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, August 9, and from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 10. The McClellan Conference Center is at 5411 Luce Avenue, McClellan Park, CA.
Call (916) 389-8917 or visit https://www.sacramentostanddown.org/copy-of-events for more information.