The pandemic couldn’t stop one annual event aimed at helping local and regional veterans get the assistance they need — and more than 100 of them were served Saturday.
Lake Havasu City Stand Down is a veterans resource fair held every year in the fall, typically at the Relics & Rods Hall of the Aquatic Center. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, veterans from Havasu and beyond had access to several services they might need — all in one location.
Some of those services included wound care, covid testing, free flu shots, diabetes care, and helping homeless veterans get off the street, Cindy Ritter of the Veterans Resource Team said Saturday.
The team is comprised of several veterans and non-veterans organizations here in Havasu, Veterans Treatment Court Judge Mitch Kalauli said. He called Ritter “the backbone” of the team, noting how much work goes into organizing the event and helping local vets. She’s also the president of Lake Havasu Military Moms and coordinator of services for the Veterans Treatment Court.
“I always use the metaphor — the court is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff,” Kalauli said. “The goal of the Veterans Resource Team is to push all of the services up onto the top of the cliff, so the veteran never falls over. Don’t get to the edge.”
He said despite the pandemic, the event had a steady flow of visitors throughout the morning and afternoon. Mayor Cal Sheehy and Sen. Sonny Borrelli also stopped by on Saturday.
Next year’s Stand Down event will be held Oct. 2, 2021, and it’s expected to be held in the same location.