Veterans at the Santa Barbara’s County Veteran’s Stand Down event got everything from a haircut to information on additional services in Santa Maria on Saturday.
Supplies like boots, hats, and coats were on hand to give away to veterans in need.
“Not only are we giving them physical things they need we are also connecting them to service. We have 105 service providers that are providing them counseling, public defenders office, district attorneys office, job opportunities, school opportunities, ” said the 5th District County Supervisor Steve Lavagino.
For Clettus McDonell, a US Veteran and Director of American Veterans United, this event meant more than just a day to give back. It was the support Veterans get today that was what he found significant.
“I served in Vietnam and ended up with Agent Orange and Leukemia, but you know life goes on, and we support our veterans as much as we can, and we love our country, and we salute the flag, ” said McDonell.
There was no short supply of support for the veterans at the Stand Down event.
“Its special for me because I’m able to give back to Veterans that were able to pave the way for us, ” said US Airforce private Jeremy Rillo.
The event also gave Veterans who have not registered for Veteran support the chance to do so and find out what services are available to them.
“There’s people here that will help them get their papers together, guide them to the services they need, help them maneuver through the program, which is fantastic, ” said US Veteran Ed Saylor.
“Our motto is we don’t leave anybody behind regardless of service,” said Ted Jackson, a US Veteran of the American Legion Riders Post 2/11.