Services for veterans offered by Stand Down Lane County

FILE - Operation 365 (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore. - Hundreds of Lane County veterans gathered together on Friday at the Lane County Fairgrounds as a part of annual event to provide services and bring the community together.

Veterans from the Korean War, to Vietnam to Afghanistan all shared stories and learned about opportunities in the community and got some help that otherwise not be available to them.

One of the men there was Michael Freeman, who was in the Army for eight years. He comes to Lane County Stand Down to meet other people like him.

"It's important for the vets to keep in touch with each other, support each other," said Freeman. "And it gets the community to come together."

That is one of the reasons that a lot of the men and women visited the fairgrounds on Friday.

For Gerald Pitcher, it was to finally join the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a non-profit organization.

"I made a promise to my grandma 40 years ago before she died, because she felt it was very important that I join the VFW, because my grandpa was in it, and I never joined," said Pitcher."

Many services were held for veterans at the Stand Down, whether it be dental work, hair cuts, or help finding a job. Some came just for a hot meal.

The event has served thousands of veterans for the past 13 years, and everyone here is grateful for the support.

Some of the money from Friday's event came from Goodwill Industries of Lane and South Coast counties, and they also donated blankets and offered job help.

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