REDWOOD NEWS: The first veteran stand down program was held in San Diego in 1988 and they have been held throughout the U.S. ever since then. Here North Coast Stand Down is dedicated to serving our area’s veterans and their families. With us tonight is Mark Myers and Frank Hunt. Hey, Frank, can you tell us what’s North Coast Stand Down is all about?
FRANK HUNT: Yes. Originally it was designed from the beginning to help our homeless because we had a large population. And since then we have evolved knowing that more than just a homeless veterans, we have all the veterans now. So we’ve evolved, been providing services for everyone, their families included. We have clothing. We have medical, dental help, legal problems that a lot of veterans have. Problems and even their animals. And, you know, animals. Yes, we have pet services. They take care of you. We take care of the whole family.
REDWOOD NEWS: So just how many veterans and their families are being served by your organization?
MARCUS MYERS: I kind of base that answer on how many meals we served down there in our last large recall turnout. We serve like about 1600 meals over three days. So I would say guessing from that, I would say anywhere from 900, at least 1200 veterans and families are being helped.
REDWOOD NEWS: There was a perception and you discussed this earlier, that this is only about helping homeless veterans, but you’re you’re helping all veterans in our area. Talk about that.
MARCUS MYERS: Well, I would say that we get veterans from Garberville, from Del Norte. And no matter what their circumstances, we try to hook them up with services that are tailored to them. Otherwise, they would never get these services. And they didn’t come to our vet. And we’ve helped a lot of veterans over the years because we’ve made the V.A. and other services totally accessible for them. That’s our main mission. Our mission is to hook the veterans up and get the veterans going.
REDWOOD NEWS: So it’s a helping hand with connections.
MARCUS HUNT: Is veterans helping veterans? That’s a that’s a concept we started with, and that’s a concept we want to keep.
REDWOOD NEWS: And when is the event? This year.
FRANK HUNT: It’s always the first weekend in October that gives us a very set time that we can do. It matter what the date is. It will always be the first week in October.
REDWOOD NEWS: And where is it?
FRANK HUNT: At the fairgrounds in Ferndale.
REDWOOD NEWS: Mark Myers and Frank Hunt. We’ll see you at the event. F
RANK HUNT: Well, thank you very much for your time. Just because you’re being there, you’re more than welcome.