Top of Illinois Veterans Stand Down, Friday

The Top of Illinois Veterans Stand Down, for area veterans and their immediate families, will be held at the UAW Hall, 112 N. Second Street, on Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Stand Down is a military term referring to a brief respite from combat.

Many dedicated local service providers, volunteers, military service organizations, community-based organizations and representatives from city, county, state and federal agencies will be available to assist our nation’s veterans. Assistance will be provided to homeless veterans and veterans needing assistance in the areas of health, counseling, employment and vocational rehabilitation counseling and assistance with VA claims. Veterans Assistance from Winnebago and Boone counties and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs will be offering counseling.

New underwear, socks and personal hygiene items will be available to registered veterans as well as well as free “New to you” jackets, coats, sweaters, blue jeans, gloves, hats, scarves, sweatpants and shirts, shoes and boots.

The Winnebago County Health Department will be offering free blood pressure checks and flu shots and free haircuts will be provided by area professionals.

Coffee and a professionally prepared hot meal will be served at noon.

Veterans and their immediate families are invited to attend this free event. Veterans are required to bring proof of their military service, preferably their DD-214 or VA I.D. card and a photo I.D. (driver’s license or state I.D.)

Also on Friday, Rockford area veterans with valid service identification will be able to enjoy a free ride on Rockford Mass Transit between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is RMTD’s hope that the free rides will eliminate any transportation barriers and enable every veteran to participate in this event.

The UAW Hall is directly accessible via several RMTD routes including #11 East State Street, #12 Charles Street and the outbound #14 7th Street route. However, all routes are free to veterans with appropriate service ID that day. Veterans riding the RMTD system between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of the event, need only board the bus and present their military ID cards to the driver.

–Ron Sodko

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