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Stand down organizers hope to reach all vets

Leif Bentsen wants to make sure all veterans receive the message of tomorrow’s Stand Down, no matter their current situation.

“We are especially interested in reaching veterans living in cars and in the woods; as well as low-income veterans living in their own homes,” said Bentsen, human services planner and coordinator for the Kitsap County Veterans Assistance Program and the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights.

The 2009 Fall Stand Down for Veterans and their Families is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. tomorrow, Oct. 10 at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds President’s Hall and is sponsored by the Kitsap Board of County Commissioners, Kitsap County Veterans Advi-sory Board and the Kitsap Area Veterans Alliance.

To be designated a veteran, one must have served on active duty for six months and have an honorable discharge or have been demobilized, according to Bentsen.

This year, services will include women, men and children’s clothing; limited meals; hygiene items and shaving gear; groceries; haircuts; VA health benefits; VA claims; employment referrals; dental screening; limited medical screening; immunization; financial assistance; information on finding your DD214; housing options; DSHS enrollment; ONE, OEF and OIF benefits; help with third-degree driver’s license suspensions; foreclosure advice; free voicemail; free mail address and access to other agencies and programs.

Free van shuttle service also will be provided by Building 9, located on the Washington Veterans Home campus in Retsil, near Port Orchard, the Veterans Service Center and Transitional Housing Program and the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs. The WDVA Veterans service center is open to all veterans 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m Monday through Friday. Call (360) 895-4346 for an appointment.

Bentsen said in order to expedite service, veterans should bring several copies of their DD214s or discharge papers and unaccompanied family members need to bring DD214s and proof of relationship to a veteran.

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