Help­ing heroes

Vets get ser­vices and much more at Stand Down and Re­source Fair

Porterville Recorder - - FRONT PAGE - By ALEXIS ESPINOZA ae­spinoza@porter­villere­corder.com

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.”

RECORDER PHO­TOS BY CHIEKO HARA

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.

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