2022 Foothills Veterans Stand Down offers food, gear, clothing and a dental clinic | Local News

The Foothills Veterans Stand Down is back after a pandemic-forced two-year hiatus.

Organizer Larry McMullen said he hopes for a strong turnout. “We want all veterans to know they’re invited and involved with other veterans,” McMullen said.

The 2019 event drew 330 veterans from 12 counties, McMullen said.

Stand Down is Fridays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Tarlton Complex of Catawba Valley Community College.

Foothills Veterans Stand Down partners with approximately 50 different organizations. All of these partners mean help is plentiful. The CVCC Dental Clinic, located across from the Tarlton Complex parking lot, provided care to 85 veterans during Stand Down 2019.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided and served by local veterans. Groceries will also be provided by Lowes Foods. Military surplus clothing, shoes and boots, gym bags, blankets, personal hygiene items, camping supplies and other military surplus items will be available for veterans to take home . Medical care, blood pressure checks and vision care will also be available for veterans, as well as mental health counseling and pastoral/chaplain services.

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McMullen said this year’s Stand Down will honor Joe Dillard, one of the original members of Foothills Veterans Helping Veterans. Dillard died earlier this year. His name is printed on the event T-shirts in remembrance of his service.

Shining Hope Farms will offer veterans the opportunity to participate in therapeutic equine activities. McMullen said he participated in therapy offered by the farm and was an advocate for animal-assisted therapy for people with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The event is a voluntary effort. “The reason we’re doing so well is that we all care about helping veterans,” McMullen said. “It’s therapy for all of us.”

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