CT Dept. of Veterans Affairs kicks off 2021 ‘Stand Down’ event, offering veterans access to programs, services


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — An annual event that provides Connecticut veterans with one-stop access to a range of programs and services kicked off Wednesday. It’s the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 2021 Stand Down event.

During times of war, U.S. veterans fought to protect our nation’s freedoms, some even made the ultimate sacrifice. With the Stand Down event they’ve sponsored for nearly 30 years, the VA is serving those who have served this country.

“This year’s Veterans Stand Down brings together nearly 100 federal, state, and local agencies,” said Thomas Saadi, commissioner for the state DVA (CT VA).

On hand to show appreciation, Lt. Gov. Susan Byiewicz: ”Thank you for serving, thank you for your sacrifice. You have made our state and our country safe and free.”

The annual Stand Down kick-off provides veterans awareness and access to a host of services via webinars as they transition to civilian life.

Commissioner Saadi explained, “We’ll have benefit presentations on education benefits, housing, healthcare, both mental and physical health, vocational programs.”

Those services will also include emergency financial support – both for veterans and active-duty guard members.

In addition to services provided via webinars, veterans can also find services at five sites around the state.

Two of those in-person event sites are in Rocky Hill and at the war memorial in Danbury.

“Now we’ll have even more where there are in-person services,” the commissioner added. “Mental health and physical health screenings, COVID-19 vaccines, flu vaccines, and testing.”

For those who are currently serving around the world or have completed their tour of duty, the Stand Down is vital.

Lesbia Nieves, with the National Guard, said, ”A lot of the veterans walk away because they don’t want to deal with what the realities are of them coming home, per se”

To find out more about the services offered head to the VA website.

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