Help available to veterans; Stand Down set for this week

Did you serve in the military? Do you know any veterans living on the lower Kenai Peninsula? Call and let them know about an exciting veteran Stand Down event on the lower Kenai Peninsula being sponsored by the Homer Elks Lodge and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Location:  Homer Elks Lodge — 215 W. Jenny Way

Veterans, this is your opportunity to enroll in veteran health care, compensation, pension, home loan certificates, education, discharge paperwork, headstones and other VA benefits.

 Discharge paperwork or other veteran ID highly recommended, but not required.   

Free meals will be provided for 400 veterans at the Homer Elks Lodge from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. 

Are you a homeless or near homeless veteran? Surplus Department of Defense gear, including packs, sleeping bags and other items will be available.

Friday, May 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m. is a time specifically set aside for handicapped and elderly veterans over the age of 70.

On Saturday, May 30, the Stand Down event will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Opening ceremony: USCG/American Legion/VFW/Eagle Scouts Color Guard — Posting of Flags with the USCG CIV singing the National Anthem followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Welcoming remarks: Homer Mayor Beth Wythe; Susan Yeager, director, Alaska, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Elks Lodge Justin Cole, lodge president, or Joel Hembach, state Elks Veterans Committee chairman; Lt. William Albright USCG; Verdie Bowen, State Department of Veterans Affairs; American Legion, VFW and other VIPs.

Opening prayer: Local veteran. 

Offering information for and services from (including some give-aways): VA Healthcare and Benefits, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Seldovia Village Health & Wellness, South Peninsula Hospital, Homer Independent Living Center, Homer Senior Center, Department of Labor, Alaska Legal Services, diabetic screening, free foot exams/foot care, Behavioral Health, Kachemak Bay Campus, Alzheimer Resource Agency of Alaska, Veterans Justice Outreach, My Health eVETs enrollment, SPBHS — Job Training, DOL Veteran Job Services, Ninilchik Tribal Clinic, Social Security Administration, The Center, VA Rural Clergy Training Plan, Disabled Veteran Alaska Marine Ferry System Discount Applications, VA ID photos, Lions Club Vision Screening, Homer VA Clinic, American Legion, Kenai Vet Center, VA hearing (audiology) screening, veteran photos, VA Headstone Applications and more.

Please bring and donate a Homer Food Pantry item  — canned or boxed food or other items.

Sharon Strutz Norton