The Monroe County Government, Department of Veterans Affairs, City of Bloomington and a number of local volunteer organizations came together at the American Legion post 18 to assist local veterans.
“A way for us to give back you know, to let the veterans that are in need know that there is help out there for them,” says Richard Dunbar, the Post Commander.
Mary-Jane McNabb, a social worker with the Department of Veterans Affairs says the Stand Down provided veterans with haircuts, flu shots, help signing up for government benefits, ID cards and a number of other services.
“They are entitled to so many benefits because of what they did and I think we just need to makes sure that everyone knows about that whether they have housing issues or not there are still a lot of other benefits that are available,” says McNabb.
A shuttle ran every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. between the Shalom Center and the Legion for anyone in need of a ride and all in attendance were provided with a hot meal.
“Every veteran that comes here benefits in some way, even if it’s just getting a good meal,” says McNabb.
Teddy Jarvis, a local veteran was at the event for the third year in a row. He is living in a home the VA helped pay for. The VA was also able to help fray the medical costs after Jarvis was beaten unconscious and left for dead as the result of a home invasion earlier this year.
“You can see around here, I mean all the volunteers and all this, it makes me feel like the blood I let for this country was for a good reason,” Jarvis says.