Veterans Stand Down is a hand up, not a hand out

Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 7:06 AM

The main objective of the Veterans Service Office is to provide prevention, protection, advocacy and support services to veterans and their families so they can maximize their quality of life, well-being and potential.

The La Plata County Veterans Service Office provides information and assistance to veterans and their families. There is a wide range of benefits available for our nation’s veterans. Every veteran is encouraged to contact the CVSO to find out more about their VA benefits. Your CVSO can assist you in any matter pertaining to the Department of Veterans Affairs. These services are free. Please visit the La Plata County website at for more information about what the La Plata County Veterans Service Office can do for you.

The La Plata County Veterans Service Office, Veterans for Veterans and Disabled American Veterans of Durango and Pagosa Springs are hosting the third Veterans Stand Down for homeless veterans of La Plata, Archuleta and Montezuma Counties.

This event will provide the opportunity to homeless and struggling veterans to regain the support, encouragement and resources to help them integrate back into the civilian world. The one-day event will provide food, clothing, haircuts, medical and mental-health attention, social services, legal assistance, job and housing referrals, workshops on résumé writing and interviews, and much more.

The event in Durango will not only focus on the homeless veterans in our town, community and surrounding areas. We will be assisting at-risk and low-income veterans as well. All of the resources provided are to help them regain their confidence and self-esteem and to rebuild their lives in a positive, supportive way.

A Veterans Stand Down is a hand up, not a hand out. Readjustment and reintegration into civilian life is much more difficult than we can ever imagine. We encourage younger veterans who have recently been discharged to stop by and see what our community has to offer them during this time of transition.

We are seeking volunteers to provide resource tables for the veterans this day. For more information about this event or how you can help, contact Peggy at 247-8589 or Jana at 749-1673 or email us at

Richard Schleeter is the veterans service officer for the La Plata County Veterans Service Office. He can be reached at 759-0117 or

For more information

The La Plata County Veterans Service Office provides information and assis­tance to veterans and their families. For more information, visit the county website at and type “veterans services” in the search window. The Veterans Service Office and the Durango VA Clinic are located at 1970 East Third Ave. The office phone number is 759-0117. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays except holidays. Appointments are encouraged. To schedule an appoint­ment, call 382-6150. For clinic appointments, call 247-2214.
Help for vetsThe Veterans Crisis Line offers free, confidential support to veterans, family and friends. Call (800) 273-8255 and press 1. You also can text professional responders at 838255 or chat online at
Health care van serviceDisabled American Veterans is running a VA health-care van from Durango to Albuquerque on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from Farmington to Albuquerque on Mondays and Wednesdays. If you want to use the DAV transportation network, contact DAV coordinators at:
Durango area: 442-0149Cortez area: (970) 676-1116Farmington/Aztec: (505) 793-1782

If you go

The Four Corners Veterans Stand Down will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 6. at the La Plata County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall in Durango.