Columbia Basin Veterans Stand Down

<p>Columbia Basin Veterans Stand Down</p>

Columbia Basin Veterans Stand Down

Local organizations are doing their part to make sure military veterans have access to information for benefits that are available to them.

Vets attended the annual Columbia Basin Veterans Stand Down at Worksource in Kennewick today.

"It's helped me out because I didn't know a lot of the different services offered to veterans as far as the medical and housing assistance," said Michael Lohmann.

Lohmann and his family traveled to the event from Kakima to learn about benefits available to him as a vet.

Lohmann served in the  from 1994 to 1999 in Oklahoma and Hawaii.

He now works as a drilling reservist and said he's been facing some difficulties lately with housing and medical assistance and coming here today has been extrememly helpful.

"It opened my eyes to a lot of the different programs out there, not actually associated with the military," said Lohmann. "You've got churches and all kinds of different places that are helping veterans out and it's awesome. I'm just overwhelmed with all the information that's out there that I didn't know."

Over 40 local agencies are dedicating their time to giving free haircuts, free clothing, sleeping bags and boots.

Booths were stocked with information regarding access to dental exams, counseling and other medical benefits.

People were there to tell homeless veterans and vets at risk of becoming homeless about options available to them like temporary, transitonal housing.

WorkSource voluteers talked to vets about the best ways to find a job.

Lohmann said there's no doubt about it, "I am fully going to take advantage of a lot of the benefits."

There will also be an event this Saturday called "Feed 1,000 Veterans," for vets and family members beginning at 5:30 p.m. at John Dam Plaza.

There will be a BBQ and a concert featuring Tri-City Native Michael Peterson.

The event is free and so is the food.