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September 27, 2016 – Think of military personnel like spokes in a wheel. The military is structured in so that each member is a support system for the others so they all “have each other’s back” while adding strength to the overall organization and our nation. Camaraderie with other service members is what makes dealing with the hardship of being deployed in a war zone somewhat palatable. When a service member leaves the military, the feeling of camaraderie is usually both a great memory and a huge loss. Some veterans have a difficult time dealing with the “normal” stressors of civilian life without that military support system they had learned to lean on. Depending on the support system they had around them as they exited the military, some service members feel minimum impact, while others might have just started a new battle internally.

The loss of camaraderie has an emotional impact. Since we all deal with emotional loss differently, “a little or a lot” can range from mild depression, substance abuse, questioning of self-worth or even homelessness. Each one of these outcomes require some form of intervention or help to get overcome.

In 1988, a community intervention “Stand Down” was established by Dr. Jon Nachison, Robert Van Keuren and Vietnam Veterans of San Diego. The original Stand Down was founded on the need to connect distressed or homeless veterans to meaningful services and connect them tightly to their community in an environment that mirrored the safety of a move from the battlefield. The idea was modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations, where troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment. A Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being.

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Nevada County will be hosting the 2016 All Veterans Stand Down at the Nevada County Fairgrounds on October 7th from 8:30am to 4:00pm and October 8th from 8:30am to 2:30pm. Gold Country Stage is offering “Free Fare Days”, to those who take public transportation. Route 3 stops at the fairgrounds Brighton Street and McCourtney Road every hour. Transportation from Truckee will be provided to the event on October 8th by the North Tahoe Truckee Transport program operated by the Town of Truckee. To a schedule a ride from Truckee to the event call 530-550-7451 by October 5th.

There will be free breakfasts and lunches served both days. A myriad of services will be provided such as, medical and dental services, home health care, information on financial assistance and judicial consultation just to name a few. Local volunteers and providers give their own time and services to come support our veterans and say “thank you” for their sacrifice and service to our country.

If you served our country, (or are the friend or family member of a veteran) please come out and learn about benefits and resources that are available. You will also enjoy the camaraderie of your veteran brothers and sisters that have also served.

For more information or to request that your name be added to the special transportation list from/to North San Juan, please contact Kevin Edwards (Veteran Service Officer) at kevin.edwards@co.nevada.ca.us or call 530-265-1446.