May 22, 2013 6:03 PM by Irina Cates - KPAX News
MISSOULA - A Veteran's Stand Down event is back in Missoula this year, and organizers have spent the last several days getting ready for it.
They have boots, sleeping bags, backpacks and much more that will be available for all veterans during the Thursday stand down in Missoula.
"The idea behind that is veterans that are in need of that kind of stuff to maybe get through the winter, maybe they're on the verge of homelessness, those kinds of things, they can come in and get the gear that they would need to survive," Missoula Veterans Center Outreach Coordinator Brian Becker said.
"This is going to provide a lot of support to those individuals and we've had a lot of troops going over in the last five, 10 years that are veterans also that they get to benefit from this also, so it's a really awesome program," said a Montana National Guard Staff Sergeant Richard Brown.
Now in addition to the military gear, veterans will also be able benefit from medical, dental and several other services. This stand down will also have a job fair with about 20 employers who are looking to hire veterans.
Organizers hope to have a large turnout and they'll be there as long as it takes to make sure all veterans get what they need.
"We really want to have a good turnout and show that Missoula is serious about taking care of its veterans," Becker said.
He hopes the stand down will be an annual event in Missoula from now on.
The event will be held at the the Missoula Armed Forces Reserve Center on Running West Road, which is off of U.S. Highway 93 North.
The standdown will start at noon and will go to 6 p.m., but organizers say they will stay later if need be.
There will also be a shuttle service that will bring veterans to the stand down. One of the school buses will meet veterans at McCormick Park at 1 p.m. and the other one will pick them up in the old K-Mart parking lot at 3 p.m.