Coeur d'Alene event helps veterans get free services



Posted on May 8, 2014 at 6:51 AM

Updated Thursday, May 8 at 10:16 AM

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho--Organizers in Coeur d’Alene were getting ready on Wednesday for the 2014 Veteran’s StandDown. The event provides dozens of free goods and services to veterans from all across the Northwest.

The event was set to take place at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds on Saturday. Veterans can receive everything from new clothes to medical exams free.

Volunteers were preparing for hundreds of veterans to make their way through the doors at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds on Saturday.

"We have veterans that come from Montana, Oregon, we might even get some from Canada. So they come all over,” said Veterans StandDown Chairman Eric Swanbeck.

The Annual North Idaho Veterans StandDown is aimed at veterans who have fallen on hard times and might be homeless. The veterans would get a free meal and a handful of items from the Army Surplus such as jackets and blankets at the free event. Doctors, dentists and veterinarians would also be on hand.

"You hear the stories every day, so how could you stand around and not help these guys,” said Swanbeck.

Swanbeck helped organize the 2014 StandDown. He said it was important to let veterans know help was available.

"I just heard about a veteran and his five kids living in a garage. It is for those individuals there,” said Swanbeck.

Andy Rogers served in the Air Force for 21 years. He said he knew firsthand about some of the experiences that veterans have when they come back from serving overseas.

"Helping another human being -- on top of that, helping a veteran, that's what really makes it all worthwhile,” said Rogers.

The StandDown was scheduled to take place at the Jacklin Building at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Veterans need to show a military ID, a VA ID or a DD-214 to get into the event.