Upcoming Stand Downs (US)

Stand Downs

Stand Downs are just one part of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ efforts to provide services to homeless Veterans. Stand Downs are typically one to three day events providing services to homeless Veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as health care, housing, employment, and substance use treatment. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies serving the homeless.

Date # of Days Location Contact Phone Number
June 7, 2013 1 Tampa, FL Harry McCurdy 813-610-5879
June 8, 2013 1 Amarillo, TX Michael T. Serpa 806-355-9703
June 13-14, 2013 2 Kalispell, ID Sean O’Neil 918-734-0739
June 14, 2013 1 Tucson, AZ Mark Jensen 520-792-1450 ext. 5559
June 14-15, 2013 2 Klamath Falls, OR Tammi Deforrest 701-616-5368
June 15, 2013 1 Sand Point, ID John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
June 15, 2013 1 Bozeman, MT James Korth 406-582-9224
June 21-22, 2013 1 Chicago, IL Jeanne Douglas 708-383-3225
June 27, 2013 1 Coer d’ Alene, ID John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
June, 2013 1 Shawnee, OK Mary Culley 405-456-3876
July 19, 2013 1 Dayton, OH Omar Varise 937-268-6511 ext. 7589
July 19, 2013 1 Long Beach, CA Charlie Lonon 562-826-5373
July 27, 2013 1 Atlanta, GA Tammy James 404-321-6111 ext. 7436
July 27, 2013 1 Coer d’ Alene, ID John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
August 6-7, 2013 2 Minneapolis, MN Jonelle Glubke 612-313-3246
August 14, 2013 1 Vancouver, WA Joseph Fettig 503-819-8055
August 16, 2013 1 Dayton, OH Omar Varise 937-268-6511 ext. 7589
August 22, 2013 1 Memphis, TN Ovul Ince 901-523-8990
August 22-24, 2013 3 Marysville, CA Deborah Bruner 530-921-0765
August 23-24, 2013 2 Dorchester, MA Rebecca Faherty 617-839-5307
August 24, 2013 1 Jacksonville, FL D. Raul Patton 904-396-8755
August 2013 1 Browning, MT Kathy Momberg 406-338-2111
September 1-3, 2013 3 Nashville, TN Dan Helm 615-873-6037
September 6, 2013 1 Helena, MT Terry Stephens 406-447-6045
September 10, 2013 1 Akron, OH David Effron 330-724-7715
September 12, 2013 1 Asheville, NC Allison Bond 828-298-7911 ext. 5506
September 12-15, 2013 3 Des Moines, IA Kimberly Neal 515-699-5999 ext. 4036
September 13, 2013 1 Houston, TX Jeri Gates 281-808-1175
September 14, 2013 1 Poplar, MT Dan Hutchinson 406-653-6326
September 14, 2013 1 Hamilton, MT Daniel Mayer 406-360-5435
September 14, 2013 1 Knoxville, TN Joan LePage 423-926-1171 ext. 7910
September 19-21, 2013 2 Rock Island, IL Sarah E. Oliver 309-786-1614
September 20, 2013 1 Dayton, OH Edith Darden 937-268-6511 ext. 2463
September 20-22, 2013 3 Cumberland, RI Bill Carr 401-273-7100 ext. 1673
September 21, 2013 1 Milwaukee, WI Barbara Gilbert 414-342-2224
September 21-22, 2013 2 Colville, WA John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
September 21-23, 2013 3 Compton, CA Charlie Lonon 562-826-5373
September 24, 2013 1 Aberdeen, SD Pat Moore 605-940-9852
September 26-27, 2013 2 Montgomery, AL Tyrinda S. Caver 334-558-8602
September 26-28, 2013 3 Great Falls, MT Rodger McConnell 406-799-6709
September 27, 2013 1 Alexandria, LA Rena Powell 318-466-2773
September 27, 2013 1 Ft. Walton Beach, FL Sally Eddins 850-217-0054
September 27, 2013 1 Salem, OR Rosy Macias 503-362-9911
September 27-28, 2013 2 Wenatchee, WA John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
September 27-29, 2013 3 Tustin, CA Charlie Lonon 562-826-5373
September 28, 2013 1 West Palm Beach, FL Maria Cabrea 561-422-8223
September 28, 2013 1 Latham, NY Donna Vaughn 518-626-5150
October 4, 2013 1 Dover, DE Elizabeth A. Byers-Jiron 302-349-4898
October 4, 2013 1 Springfield, MA Luz Marcano 413-731-6000 ext. 6114
October 4-6, 2013 3 Ferndale, CA Kermit Thobaben 707-822-1624
October 5-6, 2013 2 Libby, MT John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
October 9-10, 2013 2 Detroit, MI Linda Jones 313-576-3870
October 11, 2013 1 Mountain Home, TN Joan LePage 423-926-1171 ext. 7910
October 12, 2013 1 Moses Lake, WA John Davis 509-462-2500 ext. 4001
October 12-14, 2013 3 Nashville, TN Dan Helm 615-873-6037
October 15, 2013 1 Columbus, OH Carl Landry 614-257-5206
October 17, 2013 1 Mobile, AL Kelly Estle 251-219-3971
October 17, 2013 1 Wausau, WI Amanda Kalis 608-372-3971 ext. 66452
October 17, 2013 1 Lexington, KY Elisha Kiefer 859-233-4511 ext. 3
October 19, 2013 1 Troutdale, OR Jeremy Hov 360-696-4081 ext. 31274
October 19, 2013 1 Augusta, ME Greg Skillman 207-623-8411 ext. 5408
October 19, 2013 1 Santa Maria, CA Jorge Rodriguez 805-905-9476
October 25, 2013 1 Greenville, NC Melinda Gates 252-830-2149 ext.3224
October 26, 2013 1 Yakima, WA Ron Opsa 509-574-5200
October 26, 2013 1 Atlanta, GA April M. Edwards 404-321-6111 ext. 2412
October, 2013 1 Oklahoma City, OK Mary Culley 405-456-3876
October, 2013 1 Billings, MT Meridith Cox 406-256-3322
November 1, 2013 1 Columbia, SC Travis Thomas 803-776-4000 ext. 7695
November, 2013 1 Billings, MT Meridith Cox 406-256-3322
TBD, 2013 1 Rapid City, SD Clint Olive 605-890-2533
TBD, 2013 1 New Castle, WY Clint Olive 605-890-2533
TBD, 2013 1 Lemmon, SD Clint Olive 605-890-2533
TBD, 2013 1 Kyle, SD Clint Olive 605-890-2533
TBD, 2013 1 Kennebec, SD Clint Olive 605-890-2533

Act of valor led to medals, awards

Act of valor led to medals, awards

By Danielle McLean
Maynard —

Robert R. Lee, nicknamed the “The General,” served two tours in the Vietnam War as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army and part of the Army’s elite 11th Armored Calvary Regiment, known as the Black Horse Troopers, between 1968 and 1971. In his first tour he was part of the Army’s M-48 A3 Tank force and in the second, was a helicopter door gunner.

He has earned several prestigious medals including a Purple Heart, a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with valor, an Army Accommodation Medal with valor, and numerous Air Medal Awards. He was a member of the Army Reserves for seven years after his time in Vietnam.
Lee has lived in Maynard for 40 years with his wife Angela Lee Cossette, working for the Digital Equipment Corporation for 20 years and then the U.S. Postal Service before retiring in 2008. He is still an active charter member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 116 out of Leominster.

What prompted you to enlist into the army?

 I originally got drafted. Then I was told I would stay home for another six months, so I changed my draft into an enlistment. That made it so for one extra year I could get specialty training instead of infantry training. Back in those days when you are 19 you are thinking, “I think I would rather be on a tank than an infantry soldier.” What did I know? Plus somebody mentioned going to Germany where all the girls are, so at 19 I enlisted for an extra year to make it three years and to get specialized training for armor.

What was the story behind your awards? What do they mean to you?

The Silver Star has always been something that has always meant a little extra to me, mainly because that day will always live in my memory as the day I probably should have got kicked in the butt instead of being pinned on a Silver Star.

Editor’s note: the Silver Star Medal is the third highest award for bravery in the U.S. military.

I did some things that I wasn’t sure I was capable of doing, but I knew I had to do and the outcome was the award. I was on an M-48 A3 tank and we were taking fire from both sides of us. Our tank got hit by a rocket propelled grenade and before I knew it the tank commander was down and severely wounded. Everyone was trying to communicate and we had our radios blown out by a rocket-propelled grenade.

I grabbed my personal weapon and I got help. While I was running to the next tank to let them know we’d been hit I stumbled onto an [enemy] bunker complex that was right in front of me. I decided to start shooting into it.

As the story goes, the guys in the helicopter were watching me with a set of binoculars saying, ‘who is that idiot playing John Wayne?’ For many years I tried to not play that in my mind because I know lots of people that got shot up and wounded that day, including myself. But then I came to the determination that it is something I should be proud of and I am proud of. So I decided to start talking about it and I found that talking about it brought me to a different place in my life.

We all love our country and we all love our brothers and each year around this time on Memorial Day we all remember the ones that didn’t come back.

Can you describe the bond you share with your fellow Vietnam veterans?

The bond is unbelievable. Yearly, we do a major reunion, last year in Orlando. We are all in our mid-60’s now and not a lot of them wanted to go to Orlando, but 1,200 of us showed up there to have dinner together and break bread and remember those that didn’t come back.

The reunion comes up once a year, this year it will be in Indianapolis. But we’ve been in all the major cities across the states. We’ve had 37 actual reunions and it took about 15 years for the thing to get going. Then 15 years later a lot of people still didn’t want to get back into reunion mode, but little by little a couple of guys, then a couple other guys come and are honored. We have guest speakers and we get together and have our time together. We are united.

How important is it for people to think about and honor our veterans?

I hope people don’t forget the sacrifice that these men make. I know I won’t.

How important is it for veterans like yourself to fight and stand up for this country?

In my mind it will always be America first and love of life and the freedom that we share because of all those guys and it will just always go on. The day I don’t see a Memorial Day parade, I hope I’m not here.

06.11.2013 Scholarship Night

VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA
Chapter 116
P.O. Box 294, Leominster, MA 01453

SCHOLARSHIP NIGHT

JUNE 11, 2013, 7:00 P.M.
CARTER PARK
You, your family, and guests are cordially invited to join with the Vietnam Veterans of America for the presentation of the year 2010 Vietnam Veterans of America Scholarships. The Ceremony will be followed by an informal reception at the Leominster Veterans Center, 100 West Street. The 2013 raffle winners will be drawn at this time. The Vietnam Veterans of America have presented over $100,000 for higher education to sons and daughters of VVA members.
The Vietnam Veterans of America Scholarship is awarded annually to recognize, encourage, and contribute to the higher education of qualified VVA 116 members and their children. The Scholarship is presented to honor members of VVA who have devoted their energies in effecting positive change on behalf of all Americans. As a tribute to their continued service and to those who have lost their lives, this Scholarship program is in keeping with the spirit of our motto:

IN SERVICE TO AMERICA

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Please support New England Center for Homeless Veterans

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Lieutenant Governor Murray Releases Plan to Prevent and End Veteran’s Homelessness

Plan sets goals to end veteran homelessness by 2015

BOSTON – Tuesday, March 12, 2013 – Lieutenant Governor Murray today announced the release of the Massachusetts Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness’ Integrated Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness Among Veterans. Joined by Massachusetts imagesDepartment of Veterans’ Services Secretary Coleman Nee, Department of Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein, officials from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Massachusetts Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness (ICHH) and veteran service providers, Lieutenant Governor Murray outlined the report prior to touring the New England Center for Homeless Veterans.

Read the Plan.  Click below link to download or view (Adobe .pdf document).

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THEY SERVED US.  NOW IS THE TIME FOR US TO SERVE THEM!

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The Wall of Healing Prayer

The Wall of Healing Prayer

By Arnold E. Resnicoff

Army Vietnam veteran Dwight Holliday, 62, remembers a fallen friend at the Vietnam Wall in Washington. (Linda Davidson – THE WASHINGTON POST)

Today, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (”The Wall”) is one of our nation’s most beloved memorials. For many it is sacred space: holy ground. For me, it’s the closest America has to the Western Wall (the “Kotel”) in Jerusalem: a place for reflection and prayer; for remembrance and for dreams.

But for Jan Scruggs, the former Army corporal who first dreamed of this memorial, it was not easy to find support to remember a war that had divided our nation; not easy to remember veterans who had died, when we had never properly welcomed home those who had survived.

When Scruggs gathered together a group of veterans to promote the idea – a group that soon included me – there was opposition at every step: no memorial unless it glorified the war; or no memorial unless it admitted the war was a mistake.

Scruggs balanced these competing visions by not creating a Vietnam War Memorial at all; instead, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial would remember the men and women we had sent half-way around the world, many of whom had never made it back home.

Built to heal a nation the Wall would provide a place for all, regardless of feelings about the war, to come together to mourn our dead. And in so doing, to honor those who had survived as well: veterans who still bore the wounds – physical and emotional – of their service.

The Wall did that, and more. By honoring our veterans, it allowed them to tell their stories, and allow healing to begin. One veteran recalled how he had barely started college when a classmate asked him how he had lost his arm. When he told her he was wounded in Vietnam her response was “serves you right.” He never told anyone else he had been in Vietnam…until the day the memorial was dedicated.

Ultimately, what the memorial accomplished was a vision shift for people like that classmate. Before the dedication those who hated the war showed that hatred in their treatment of our military, so that our men and women had to fight two wars: one overseas and one back home. Since the Wall’s creation, most Americans carefully distinguish their opposition to a war from their support for our troops.

I remember being in uniform in an airport during Desert Shield/Desert Storm – when yellow ribbons were displayed as symbols of support for our military personnel. A stranger came up to me, extended his hand, and said “Welcome Home.” My first impulse was to tell him I had not served in DS/DS…but instead I grasped his hand and thanked him. I believed that I was finally being welcomed home from Vietnam.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial helped our veterans, but it had an impact on us all. It changed the way we thought, and so it changed the way we acted, too.

These thoughts drove the prayer I offered at its dedication, thirty years ago. My prayer began by describing suffering: “Almighty God, some 2,500 years ago the prophet Jeremiah cried out with words filled with pain and anguish…words which might have come out of the mouths of our Vietnam veterans, struggling to reclaim their lives…until today. “Why have we been smitten?” he asked, ‘and then for us there was no healing….”

But the prayer ended with hope: “Help us, we pray, make this the beginning of the time of healing tht we all seek…. Let this monument and this dedication forever remind us that we will come together to mourn our dead; we will come together to reach out to our wounded; we will come together…to remember and honor our brave.”

As we commemorate Veterans Day this year, may we join together to reaffirm the words of that prayer.

Rabbi Arnold E. Resnicoff served in Vietnam August 1969-Aug ust 1970 as communications officer onboard USS Hunterdon County (LST-838) in the rivers of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, as part of Operation Game Warden. His Navy career included more than 28 years on active duty, the final 25 as a chaplain.

By Arnold E. Resnicoff  |  06:58 PM ET, 11/09/2012