Standing down with helping hand for Monterey County homeless veterans
By Tonya Townsell, Presidio of Monterey Public AffairsAugust 1, 2014
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif., -- The Monterey County Veterans Stand-Down event runs Aug. 1-3 at the former Fort Ord motor pool on Joe Lloyd Way in Seaside.
Organizers of the event have set up a temporary village to process homeless veterans into the Veterans Affairs system as well as provide other needed assistance.
During the stand down, homeless veterans -- men, women and families -- will have access to free medical and dental care. So, the temporary community includes vehicles with medical exam rooms, dental offices, food trucks and portable shower facilities.
To access the event, homeless veterans are being bused, free of charge, to the registration area.
On hand, also, are veterinarians and SPCA staff to examine and care for homeless veterans' pets.
Additionally, the veterans will have the option of going before judges from several California counties and have their minor misdemeanors erased. This is an important step because, according to Terry Bare, executive director of the Veterans Transition Center, taking care of minor legal problems allows homeless veterans to seek employment and dig themselves out of the homeless cycle.
"Our stand down is fully encompassing," Bare said. "Our goal is to get our veterans back on their feet. Through all the services available. ... If we can provide them hope and opportunity, then we've done our job."
Demonstrating that the nation never forgets its veterans, on hand to greet the veterans was an assortment of leaders, including Francis Joseph Harvey, the 19th Secretary of the United States Army, Presidio of Monterey Garrison Commander Col. Paul Fellinger and Fort Hunter Liggett Garrison Commander Col. Donna Williams, Congressman Bill Monning and a representative from Rep. Sam Farr's office.