Northwestern Illinois Stand Down and Welcome Home 2014

Staff Report

FREEPORT, Illinois — The Fourth Annual Northwestern Illinois Stand Down and Welcome Home for area veterans and their families will be held from noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 11, at Read Park, Freeport.

While the purpose of the event is to provide veterans with information about veterans’ benefits and services at the local and national level and helping our homeless and at-risk veterans, active duty, Reserve and National Guard service members, special emphasis this year is being focused on mental health, including TBI and PTSD. It is also a time to say, “Welcome home and thank you for your service.”

Stand Down is a military term referring to a brief respite from combat. During this Stand Down, assistance will be provided to homeless veterans and veterans in need in the areas of VA medical and mental health counseling, employment and vocational rehabilitation counseling, assistance with VA and Social Security benefits claims, clothing and haircuts.

The VAC of Stephenson County Office and the Freeport Office of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs have partnered with several dedicated service providers, volunteers, military service organizations, community-based organizations and representatives from city, county, state and federal agencies in a collaborative effort to assist our nation’s veterans.

Entertainment will be provided by local talent MacKenzie Davidson, veterans Walter Hollins and Arlmone Smith and others. Representatives and horses from Bravehearts Therapeutic Riding Facility will demonstrate the healing power of the horse. Bravehearts is the nation’s largest equine-assisted program for wounded military veterans and their families.

All veterans and their families are invited to this free event.

From the Oct. 8-14, 2014, issue

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