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COOS COUNTY — The Southern Oregon Coast is coming together to help its homeless veterans.

The ninth Annual Veterans Stand Down is next Friday, Aug. 17, at the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, located at 1100 Airport Lane, in Hangar 1. So far, about half of the volunteers signed up to help put on the event are veterans themselves.

“So what I’m seeing are veterans helping veterans,” said Krystal Hopper, member of the Veteran’s Stand Down Committee.

Though the focus of the event is to connect homeless veterans to services, find housing and get the help they need, it is there to help every veteran. Last year, Hopper said close to 350 veterans attended, as well as 50 homeless veterans.

This year, the event begins at 9 a.m. when the Patriot Guard Riders arrive with the flag, followed by the local Sea Cadets with the color guard. Singers from KDOCK Teen Idol will also perform. The Stand Down will run until 3 p.m.

“There is entertainment throughout the day, but if any veteran needs a ride to the event, Yellow Cab is offering free rides,” Hopper said, adding that, “We have Start of Hope transporting homeless veterans from the event to the Devereux Center so they can have free showers.”

Free breakfast and lunch will also be served.

Not only that, but homeless veterans will have the chance to sign up with the Veteran’s Affairs to get access to medical care, mental health care, and there will be people in attendance to help them receive their IDs, housing, and sign up for support groups.

For all veterans, Hopper said they can find help in filing disability claims and even go back to school.

It is also not too late for volunteers to sign up. For more information, visit this link or contact Hopper by emailing 1krysade@gmail.com or calling 541-284-5185.

“Our goal is to get our homeless vets the help they need to get them in a better position,” she said.

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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