2022 Foothills Veterans Stand Down offers food, gear, clothing and 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 large turnout. “We want all veterans to know they’re invited and want them to get involved with other veterans,” McMullen said.

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

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

The Foothills Veterans Stand Down is partnering with about 50 different organizations. All those partners means help is plentiful. The CVCC dental clinic, across the parking lot from the Tarlton Complex, provided care to 85 veterans during the 2019 Stand Down.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided and served by area veterans. Groceries will also be provided by Lowes Foods. Clothes, shoes and work boots, duffle 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 be offering opportunities for veterans to participate in therapeutic equine activities. McMullen said he has participated in the therapy offered by the farm and said he is an advocate for animal assisted therapy for those with post traumatic stress disorder.

The event is a volunteer effort. “The reason we are so successful is we all have it in our hearts to help veterans,” McMullen said. “This is therapy for all of us.”

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