September 26, 2023 – Each of the past thirty-three years, the Central Valley Veterans, an all-volunteer, non-profit group who honor all U.S. Veterans with support and guidance have held a “Stand Down” event in which they are able to do so.
With the Stand Down event, the Central Valley Veterans have been able to provide veterans valuable communications on everyday needs such as health or dental care and connect them with those who provide it.
In a fair-like setting, groups providing vaccinations, clothing, personal hygiene supplies and even hot meals were combined in one place, usually the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8900.
However, Post 8900 recently had their roof collapse resulting in the cancellation of all scheduled events including this 34th year’s “Stand Down”.
When Central Valley President John Schuler , Director of the Central Valley Veterans Stand Down called the Clovis Veterans Memorial District about possibly having the event in their building, he said they were able to “..bail us out. I didn’t think we were gonna have one this year. But they opened the doors for us and here we are, it’s an incredible venue and we have fifty-five services here all under one roof.”
“It’s about having all the services out here for veterans. We have everything, we have dental, we have optical, we have other independent services…Stand Down is a way to get all the services to the veteran as opposed to getting all the veterans to the services.”
Schuler explained, “It’s a giant service fair..when we do a typical Stand Down, we set up a tent city for the homeless Veterans, but where we usually have it, Post 8900, the building collapsed.”
John says that overall during the two-day event, the first day had over 325 veterans served and on the second day, 150 and counting.
The event stands as a platform to give back to those who have served the country and aims to empower veterans through diverse services and resources.
The Clovis Veterans Memorial District says that they are, “proud to support programs like this that honor veterans by providing necessary resources. As the tagline of the event states, it is important to offer local veterans a hand up rather than a handout.”
John Schuler redirected, “We’ll have a lot of veterans come through here..Twenty-five years ago we would have had 1500 [Veterans] in here. But the numbers go down each year, and it shows that the programs are working. It’s about getting Veterans off the street, into programs, getting the help that they need and getting them on to a productive life.”
The Central Valley Veterans “Stand Down” event is held annually each September and is supported by donations. You can help donate to the Central Valley Veterans by visiting Centralvalleyveterans.org