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Stand Down event bringing health services to County veterans in need

CARIBOU, Maine — Homeless veterans and their peers in need will be to find out about and receive the free health services they deserve, when the United Veterans of Maine host Stand Down at Cary Medical Center next month.

Stand Down, which refers to a safe-haven for soldiers in the Vietnam War, is also now the name of a popular event that until this year has only been held at the Togus VA facility in Augusta.

Robert Chamberlain of Newfield, a Vietnam-era veteran who participated in the 14th annual Homeless Veterans Stand Down in October 2011, at the Togus VA Medical Center, has his teeth examined by Dr. Rebecca Berry, a dental resident for the medical center who volunteered her skills for the event. (Christopher Cousins | BDN File Photo)

But for the first time, UVM is collaborating with local health care providers and community organizations to host a Stand Down event in Aroostook.

“Busing our veterans to and from Togus was an eight hour round trip,” UVM President John DeVeau said in a press release about the event. “Our veterans were simply exhausted.”

It was “essential,” he said, to host a Stand Down in Aroostook.

Any veterans in need will be able to receive services such as flu shots, wound care, podiatry services, dental and vision screenings, mental health services, case management, and even haircuts during the event, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Cary Medical Center’s Chan Center.  

Local providers from various organizations will be at the Stand Down to offer the services and screenings to veterans at no cost. A shuttle also will be available to transport veterans to and from the event.

“Stand Downs offer an opportunity to support the overall health and well-being of our veterans,” Deveau said. “This is the time to get them the care they need, when they need it.”

In addition to Cary, other organizations participating in and supporting the event include Pines Health Services, AMHC, ACAP, the Red Cross, VA Clinic, Northern Maine Vets Center, Lavender Puff, Togus, Loring Job Corps, and VISN 1, according to the release.

Local veterans seeking to obtain services at the event, schedule transportation, or receive more information about available benefits, can call Katie Michaud at 493-3833.

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