Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Photo Above - Plains, MT In The Spring
The State of Montana is now home to more than 1,000,000 people. Did you know that approximately 108,000 of those people are military veterans? That's right, per capita Montana has more veterans than any other state in the Lower 48. Only Alaska has a population with a higher percentage of veterans.
Many of Montana's veterans live within easy driving distance of Plains, MT, which is a good thing. On May 5 and 6, 2012, an event to be known as the Tri-State Veterans Stand Down is being organized by Sanders County resident Billy Hill, of Trout Creek. Already on hand to be redistributed to military veterans is more than $1.2-million of surplus items.
The material goods to be given freely to any qualified veteran include hi-tech modular sleeping systems, extreme cold weather sleeping bags, aluminum pack frames with rucksacks, wool Navy pea-coats, wool socks, wool blankets, insulated underwear, boots, and other surplus military gear. When Veteran Stand Downs were first widely organized, they were geared to serve the homeless veteran who found "camping out" a new way of life. With so many people now strapped by a struggling economy, barely being able to stretch one paycheck to the next, or having no job at all, today's Stand Down events are now open to all military veterans. Those who call western Montana, northern Idaho and eastern Washington home are largely outdoor people by choice, and much of the surplus clothing and gear to be handed out at the Tri-State Veterans Stand Down will make weathering the elements a bit more comfortable.
For those who are in need, haircuts and showers will be provided, so will hot breakfasts and lunches both days.
On hand will be Veterans Administration officers and staff to aid with V.A. claims and benefits. Also there will be veterans service organizations - and both physical and mental health providers to address individual veteran's needs. Those seeking employment will be able to receive employment counseling, while other community organizations will be there to help in any way they can.
The Tri-State Veterans Stand Down takes place at the Sanders County Fairgrounds, 30 River Road, Plains, MT on May 5th and 6th, from 0800 Hrs. (8 a.m.) to 1600 Hrs. (4 p.m.) each day. Event organizer Billy Hill says all veterans are welcomed, whether they come for the surplus clothing and gear, the food, to learn more about V.A. services and benefits, for health services, to seek employment, or for the camaraderie and being with many other military veterans. Just be sure to bring your form DD-214, discharge, V.A. or military I.D.
This event is being sponsored by the Tri-State Veterans Stand Down, Noxon Community Center Fellowship, Thompson Falls Food Bank, and the Montana Food Bank Network. - Toby Bridges, Missoula, MT
Media Contact - Billy Hill at 406 847-2407
(Note: Sanders County, MT is one of the western Montana counties that have been hardest hit by wolf depredation. Toby Bridges, founder of LOBO WATCH, will be at the Tri-States Veterans Stand Down to help in any way possible. If an out of control wolf population robbed you of putting your family's winter meat supply in the freezer, or has negatively impacted your ability to raise livestock or earn a living, please look me up and share a thought or two. I also expect several candidates for Montana governor, and other elected officials, to show up. Please do not hold back in letting these people know what we've lost...and what it will take to put an end to the wolf idiocy. )