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Veterans making virtual connections at annual Stand Down event


ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) — Stand Down usually meant coming off the front lines.
Thursday and Friday, it’s taking on a new meaning for hundreds of Veterans across Connecticut.

“Being done now not because they’ve been on an active-duty mission but to help them rest, refit, and engage with programs and services that they may not know about that may have changed over the last several years,” Connecticut Veterans Affairs Commissioner Thomas Saadi said.

The state Department of Veterans Affairs has been holding this one-stop-shop for nearly three decades. But this year, the pandemic has forced a portion of it online.

Nearly 30 providers of federal, state, and community-based benefits will be providing
presentations online to hundreds of Veterans, and family members, and caregivers throughout the day.

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said, “Whether it’s with respect to healthcare, employment, education, job training. You name it.”

While Thursday is all virtual, the Veteran community recognizes not all are tech-savvy. So, on Friday, Veterans can gather in-person for socially-distant resources at the Dept. of Veteran Affairs locations in Rocky Hill, Danbury, Bridgeport, and Norwich.

“Personal need items, clothing as well as Covid-19 testing and flu shots at no charge for our Veterans,” Saadi said.

When it comes to those who served, fought, and sacrificed so much. Two days are never long enough.

Army Veteran and Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprauge) said, “Our Veterans need consistent and constant help with both PTSD and mental health.”

Stand Down is not only for Veterans but also for active service members across all branches.

For more information and to register for the in-person event, click here.

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