Vets get services and much more at Stand Down and Resource Fair
Veterans and vendors filled the lawn in front of the Tule River Veterans Center Wednesday morning to celebrate the 3rd annual Tule River Native Veterans Stand Down and resource fair.
Robert Janney, a 61-year-old Army veteran who served at the end of the Vietnam War was in attendance at the stand down and taking advantage of the opportunities that the event was providing.
“Last year I went to Western Dental to get my dentures and the gentleman there said I had to have a bone reduction and that my insurance wasn’t going to pay for it. I had to pay another $3,500. I get Social Security disability, and last year I was getting under $1,000. I couldn’t afford $3,000,” Janney shared. “This event is how I found out and got pointed in the right direction to get my teeth taken care of.”
Veterans of all ages
passed through the vendor booths, having each vendor sign off to keep
track of who they had already spoken to. Veterans emerged from the side of the building carrying backpacks filled with boots, socks, jackets, pants, wash clothes and more.
From flu shots to clothes, vendors provided veterans with items and information they may be in need of.
Among the many vendors, Keith Neville, the director of admissions at Heavy Equipment Colleges of America, was handing out information regarding
the certification and training programs offered through the school. He stated that the program is approved through the Veterans Affairs and only takes three weeks to complete. Neville insisted that the program is open to those who are willing to learn and dedicate the
time to a potential lifelong career.
Lydia Santillan was also present representing California Phones. Santillan was informing those in attendance of free training classes offered to teach the functions of iphones and how people who have difficulty seeing or hearing can adapt their cell phones to work better for them. She also had
multiple land lines on her table displaying different options available to those who may have issues seeing, remembering or dialing.
Assemblyman Devon Mathis, an Army veteran himself, made an appearance at the stand down. He spoke very highly of the services provided by the resource fair and admired Janney for sharing his story with him.
“Helping this gentleman is one of the great reasons why we are here,” Mathis stated.
“These events are what the veterans need. It's not just for the free stuff, it's for the services,” said an appreciative Janney. We need to get the word out so that veterans of all branches can come here and get connected.”
Maria Roman from Porterville College’s Veterans Resource Center (left) greets attendees at the Tule River Native Veterans Stand Down and Resource Fair Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the Tule River Veterans Center. The third annual event offers a variety of resources for veterans of all eras.
Stanley Santos, Tule River Veterans Post 1987 Commander, welcomes veterans and vendors Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the third annual Tule River Native Veterans Stand Down and Resource Fair at the Tule River Veterans Post Center.