Staff from Utah Navajo Health System, Inc., the Veterans Affairs Western Colorado Health Care System and the Grand Junction Vet Center held a Stand Down for veterans in San Juan County last month.
The parking lot at the UNHS Montezuma Creek Community Health Center was converted into a massive veterans’ resource center with provider booths and displays featuring services and items available to veterans needing a variety of resources. The Veterans Affairs Western Colorado Health Care System and the Grand Junction Vet Center brought their motor homes loaded with surplus clothing, boots, back packs, duffle bags and a myriad of other items that were free to the veterans.
Robin Trump, a Social Worker with Veterans Affairs Western Colorado HC System said his group brought twice as many items as they brought for the last Stand Down in Montezuma Creek. The extra items weren’t wasted. Veterans from around the area attended the event and took advantage of the free items and the opportunity to learn about all the available services. Trump, a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, works with homeless veterans.
“It’s a natural progression to work with the VA. The mission goes on.” Trump said. “I took care of the troops then, now I take care of the veterans. This is my first time in Montezuma Creek. I wish I knew more about what they need here.”
Melissa Curley, Veterans Coordinator for UNHS, helped orchestrate the Stand Down and kept busy making sure everything ran smoothly; from the resource and provider booths, to the surplus displays, a live appearance on KNDN’s Radio booth, promoting the event, and getting the free community luncheon served. She and a dozen or more UNHS staff helped make the Stand Down a success. The local veterans and their families are grateful to all those who participated in the Stand Down and for all the services and resources made available to them during the event and every day through Curley’s office, as well as the veterans services available through Veterans Affairs Western Colorado Health Care System, the Grand Junction Vet Center, and other local resources in San Juan County.