Airmen, community come together for veteran stand down

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Morgan Brown
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

MARYSVILLE, California-- More than an estimated 1,200 veterans and civilians received aid from volunteers from Beale Air Force Base and the local community at the Yuba-Sutter Veterans Stand Down in Marysville, California, Aug. 23-25, 2018.  

The stand down provides a broad range of necessities, such as, financial, medical, educational and religious services to veterans and their families, specifically targeting homeless and less fortunate veterans.  

“This started as only homeless veterans, but we sort of stepped out of the box and made it for all veterans, active duty, reservist, everything,” said retired U.S. Army Platoon Sgt. and Vietnam Veteran Michael Nichols, president of the Yuba-Sutter Veterans Stand Down. “This way it can get out to veterans faster, instead of waiting until their duty is up to find out about all of these services.”  

With the stand down offering more than 15 booths and a variety of services, Airmen from Beale Air Force Base volunteered to help with the set up, booth services and clean up during the three day event.  

“We are incredibly proud and thankful for the opportunity to help and care for our veterans, brothers and sisters at arms, and their families,” said Col. Andy Clark, the 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander. “This is what Airmen do, its our sacred charge to take care of our veterans and those that have come before us. We take care of each other and we take care of them.”  

Veterans were treated to lunch, haircuts, medical needs and Department of Veterans Affairs services at no cost.  

“I like coming here because of the camaraderie and the services they make available to us are really great,” said Richard Montes, U.S. Marine Corps veteran. 

The stand down was established in 1999 and continues with the help of Michael Nichols, local volunteers and supporters.  

“Most vets are taught that if it don’t hurt, don’t do anything about it,” Nichols said. “You get a bump on your head, you put a bandaid on it. You take an aspirin and you’re good to go. But things are changing and people need to see what services are out there for them.”