Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

November 22, 2017 at 8:04am

Thurston County Stand Down & Job Fair serves vets

Volunteers came in droves to assist setting up one hundred free turkeys for veterans (donated by Auto Warehousing in Tacoma) during the Thurston County Stand Down & Job Fair held in the Olympia National Guard Armory Friday, Nov. 17. Photo credit: WDVA

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Thurston County Veterans took advantage of a dual Veterans Stand Down and Veterans Job Fair event held in the Olympia National Guard Armory Nov. 17.

Stand-Downs are typically a one-stop shop operation offered at various counties throughout a given state.

These events provide direct and needed services, while connecting veterans to dozens of veteran-supporting organizations and resources all under one roof.  Typical resources available at stand downs range from medical, dental, housing, employment and veteran benefits, to counseling, free haircuts, food, pet supplies and clothing.

Along with an abundance of available resources, veterans could also ask questions and obtain resources that they might not have otherwise known were available to them.

Thankfully, if you are a veteran in need of resources, the Thurston County Stand Down and Veterans Hiring Event had it all.

"Well we've got everything for those who are hearing impaired or have speech impairments ... We've got resources for those with TBI ... We've got the Social Security Administration for homeless vets that may have lost their social security card ... We've got the metropolitan development council and we've got service support for veteran's families program ... We've got the Washington Department of Veteran Affairs and their representatives ... We've got the Federal VA with VASH Housing Vouchers and other health programs, and we've even got a variety of Veterans Service Officers (VSO) organizations that are all here to assist with filing for service connected claims. Basically, we've got it all here for veterans," said Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist Case Manager for Employment Security Department's Work Source in Thurston County, John Moysiuk or "Moose."

Along with having "everything" a homeless veteran could need, there are other advantages with having a stand down and hiring event both taking place at the same time.

"We have the event from this morning which is the stand down portion that's focused on presenting various service providers," said Moose.  "This afternoon we're going to transition to our hiring event which presents employers who are seeking to fill positions and not just advertise their business."

The stand down serves as an effective pre-cursor to the search for employment.

"Getting them ready and confident, by also providing a little additional dignity will always make for a better career search."

Both the Thurston County Veterans Stand Down and Veterans Hiring Event worked together to better serve veterans while ensuring they are better prepared to look for employment.

Moose speaks from his personal experience on the topic, as he was once a homeless veteran himself.

"I was a homeless vet, too, so I know what it's like and I'm still serving!"

A community coming together could be the most valuable resource for a veteran. Spreading the word and sharing information about resources and benefits is crucial in the battle against veteran homelessness.

"You need to spread the word that there are organizations that can assist and fight," said Moose.  "But the only way it's going to happen is if you step forward and open your mouth and ask for the assistance or ask the question."

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