Newport Stand Down, Vietnam Moving Wall dates announced

| June 24, 2020 1:00 AM

More than two dozen veteran support organizations, businesses and volunteers will come together in the region this summer to support regional veterans.

In addition to a veterans stand down on July 18, Brad Hanson, coordinator of last year’s Newport Veterans Stand Down at the Newport High School in Newport, said the group is also bringing the Vietnam Moving Wall to the Newport Cemetery from July 16 to July 20.

The group is hoping to attract more than 500 area veterans to the stand down, Hanson said.

To make the event a success, the group is holding monthly meetings on last Friday of every month at 10 a.m. The group meets at the Hospitality House in Newport, 216 S. Washington St.

In military vernacular, “stand down” refers to a necessary break from combat operations — a safe place to rest and recuperate. The stand down will provide a safe place for veterans and their families to engage with supporters and find the resources they need.

Event planners expect to have hundreds of Washington and Idaho veterans. Recent combined statistics in western Bonner County and southern Pend Oreille County across the border in Washington state indicate there are more than 4,100 veterans in these communities. Among them, 13% live in poverty and more than 40% qualify for VA disability claims. Veterans from other local counties are also welcome.

These veterans will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with federal, state, and county agencies, as well as businesses, nonprofit organizations and local veteran service organizations.

“We’ve worked for several months to make this happen. Our team has worked hard to make sure that the veterans in this area can get the resources they deserve,” said Hanson, a veteran, volunteer firefighter and nonprofit manager in Newport. “If organizations and individuals want to join this effort, they can contact us at 509-671-3585 or 202-384-7186.”

To participate, veterans must provide a military or VA identification card, or a DD Form 214. Family members are welcome to participate, although some services are only available to the veteran.

The stand down will be held at the Newport High School, 1400 Fifth St., in Newport, Wash., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 18 Lunch will be provided to attendees, volunteers, and service providers.

Information: 509-671-3585