News

Vet ‘stand down’ seeks donations

By CHARLIE BERMANT

Kitsap County writer

Following the success of a similar event in October, Kitsap County plans to co-sponsor a “stand down” event for veterans on May 3 at the President’s Hall at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.

“When someone goes into the service, they pay a tremendous price,” said Human Services Planner Leif Bentsen. “This is a way for them to get something back.”

In preparation, program sponsors are collecting donations of clothing and non-perishable food for distribution at the event. The collection will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at both the Silverdale Community Center and the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 22. For information about the collection, call (360) 792-0913.

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; and,

• 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 — spouses or children only — need to bring the vet’s DD-214 along with proof they are related to the veteran.

Last fall’s event was at the Pavilion. Bentsen said the President’s Hall is more suited for the event, especially considering that only a few hundred people may attend. Another change is that the upcoming event is on the weekend, to enable working veterans to attend. Detailed information about the “stand down” will appear on www.kitsapgov.com in coming weeks, or by calling (360) 337-4883.

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