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Stand Down For Veterans Offers Free Services

Veterans from across the state are to gather Friday to receive healthcare, employment assistance and other free services at the annual Stand Down.

The event is set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the state Department of Veterans Affairs campus on West Street.

Started in 1992, Stand Down brings state, federal and private agencies together to provide veterans with medical screenings, eye and hearing exams, help with housing, jobs, education and legal matters and other services.

In military parlance, units "stand down" when they come in from the field to rest, clean equipment and get a hot meal. Last year, about 1,000 veterans attended the event, and DVA spokeswoman Emily Hein said organizers expect at least as many this year.

The Stand Down in its early years mainly served homeless veterans, but the focus has expanded to include any veteran who needs help or wants to know about available services, Hein said.

About 100 service providers and exhibitors, the most ever, are to set up tables and tents, including private business representatives looking for veterans to fill jobs. Also, Hein said, about 200 volunteers have signed up to help at the event, including 50 students from Yale University.

No pre-registration is required. Free bus transportation is to be available at designated locations throughout the state. For questions about transportation, call 860-616-3802, or 3803; or visit http://bit.ly/1KiEvyc.

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