Released 23 September 2013
(Connecticut’s Senior Senator Richard
Blumenthal joins Captains Caroline Ramos and Ruth Thomas at The Salvation Army
"Stand Down" booth.)
The Salvation Army and U.S. Veterans
Team-Up for Annual Stand
ROCKY HILL - The ministry of The Salvation Army to veterans
has grown from serving coffee and doughnuts in World War I to today’s
programs that provide comfort and cheer, like the recent "Stand Down" at the
Connecticut Veterans Home in Rocky Hill. Veterans came from all across the
state. They represented every conflict, from World War II through Iraq and
Afghanistan. The men and women in attendance came seeking help from the
agencies and providers that participated in this special, statewide event.
(Major Eunice Champlin talks to veterans in
This "Stand Down" provided an opportunity for the veterans to obtain
services they need, all under one roof, or in this case, at one location.
Agencies present ranged the State of Connecticut Department of Labor to the
Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles; the Social Security Administration to
the Internal Revenue Service; a United States Senator to many social services
organizations; making for many groups and individuals that were there with help
just for the asking.
Officers from The Salvation Army were stationed inside the auditorium. They
welcomed the veterans and thanked them for their dedicated service. They
distributed socks, pens, teddy bears, toiletry items, informational materials,
candy and some employment opportunities too (you can never have enough kettle
workers). The Salvation Army also provided comfort and prayers as needed.
(Captain Janet González and Major
Eunice Champlin set up before the veterans arrive.)
Salvation Army Captain Janet González, Divisional Secretary of
Veteran’s Affairs in Southern New England, remarked, "Validation can be
given in so many ways. How blessed we were to participate in this year’s
'Stand Down' for veterans of Connecticut, to validate them for whom they are,
for their service to our country! I was personally blessed whenever I got a
smile back. I was deeply touched by one of the veterans who was at one corner
'waiting for his friends,' whom he hadn’t seen in the last couple of
years. His face was looking at the horizon, lost in his thoughts. His sight was
burdened with sadness and delicate tears. I made eye contact and listened to
his story, while reminding him of the blessing of just being alive. His gentle
smile in response and shake of hands at the end of our conversation was a
special moment for me. We were both encouraged and validated that day!"