When the coronavirus forced the cancellation of the annual Atlantic City Regional Stand Down, the committee took a deep breath and said, “We need to figure out how we can continue to serve our comrades.”
Under the leadership of veteran and VA Community Outreach Specialist Pat Carney, and Department of New Jersey PDC Bob Looby, the idea of a “Mobile Stand Down” was hatched. The concept was to take all of the services provided at a traditional fixed-location stand down out into the community where the veterans live.
On a gloomy Friday the 13th, the committee held their third Mobile Stand Down in Rio Grande, N.J. The skies were cloudy with a foggy mist. The sprit on the ground was bright and cheery as veterans from Cape May County arrived. Staff from the Wilmington VA, along with their Mobile Clinic Van, enrolled veterans in the VA health system. They also assisted veterans with filing claims and doing health screenings. Numerous other partners such as the New Jersey Department of Veterans And Military Affairs, Vet Center, Diocese of Camden Catholic Charities, New Jersey VFW, New Jersey DAV, New Jersey Casino Control Commission, American Red Cross and several others provided services to veterans. All providers are considered” value added” providers. They are there to assist veterans, not sell their products or services.
The entire New Jersey Legion Family is a part of the stand down. Sons of the American Legion PDC Patrick Gallagher and several other Sons assisted as ambassadors. American Legion Department of New Jersey Auxiliary 1st Vice President Jane Babli and several other Auxiliary members assisted with the distribution of both male and female clothing and products to veterans,
Two additional mobile stand downs are in the pipeline prior to winter, with several planed for the spring. summer and fall 2021.