The tradition of a stand down for veterans is derived from the practice that provided a safe retreat for units coming out of combat operations during the Vietnam War, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans online.
"Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being," the NCHV site notes.
Troops could mail and receive letters, get hot meals and medical care and enjoy camaraderie in a safe, secure base camp.
The current practice was founded as Stand Down in 1988 by Robert Van Keuren, Dr. Jon Nachison and the Vietnam Veterans of San Diego. They established the program for homeless veterans, bringing the services to one location to make them more accessible.
The NCHV was asked to take it over in July 2002 and it continues as a valuable outreach tool to aid homeless veterans.
A local Veterans Stand Down will be from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Walla Walla National Guard Armory, 113 S. Colville St., Walla Walla. The Veterans Administration and other community organizations will provide information.
Those attending should bring their military papers. Participants may speak with a benefits officer and get such help as free dental care, a vision checkup and a haircut. Veterans service organizations will serve breakfast and lunch will be served at no charge.
A presentation about Walla Walla's trolley system, which was in operation as early as the 1880s will be featured during Fort Walla Walla Museum's annual meeting Oct. 18. The information was compiled as part of the museum's Heritage Research Services work with the city's Whitman Street renovation project.
The 7 p.m. meeting will be in the museum's Grand Hall in the new entry, off 755 Myra Road.
The business portion of the meeting will include election of Board of Directors candidates for the 2012-2015 term. Museum members and the public are encouraged to attend. There is no charge. Refreshments will be available.
More details are available at 509-525-7703, online at www.fortwallawallamuseum.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8313.