Wednesday, September 23, 2009
DALLAS -- Saturday was a little soggy, but that didn't put a damper on the showing of support for veterans in Dallas City Park.
The Mid-Willamette Valley's first veterans stand-down was a surprising success, said Bill Adams, the executive director of Serving Our Veterans at Home, the organization that put on the event.
"It's a good start," Adams said. "I would say this is an extremely effective program."
About 35 volunteers were in Dallas City Park to hand out clothing, offer medical assessments, help vets receive federal benefits, and even offer a hot meal and a hair cut.
The mild bluster of showery weather kept a few people away, but overall more than 125 vets were helped at the stand-down, event organizer Wayne Crowder said.
Organizers dedicated the event to Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Taylor Marks, who died in Iraq on Aug. 28. Marks' father, Morey Marks, attended the dedication.
"I'm touched by this outpouring of support for vets," Marks said.
He said helping veterans in need is a fitting way to honor his son.
Adams said he wants to organize a stand-down in the mid-valley region at least once a year.
"We want to get around to as many vets as we can," he said.