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Since You Asked: Roseburg plays host to annual Stand Down

When is the annual Southern Oregon Stand Down this year? If memory serves, it is always in mid-September out at the Dom, but I haven't read anything about it yet.

— Don S., Medford

Your memory is spot on, Don.The three-day Southern Oregon Stand Down 2010, held to help veterans in need, begins Friday.

However, it will be held at the Department of Veterans Affairs' facility in Roseburg this year, not at the VA's Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics in White City.

The SORCC was formerly known as the VA domiciliary, hence the affectionate nickname "the Dom."

The change in venue is to help serve all the veterans in the region who need the services provided by the event, explained Tom Marshal, a spokesman for the SORCC.

"Next year it will be back at White City — we are alternating the location every year now," he said, noting that will help "share the wealth" of benefits available to veterans.

This year's stand down, the 19th annual, will be held at the VA's Roseburg Healthcare System in the Fir Grove area at 913 NW Garden Valley Blvd., Roseburg.

Although the location has changed, organizers stress it remains the same grass-roots, community-based, outreach program designed to help homeless veterans "combat" life on the streets. In military parlance, a "stand down" is a period of rest and recovery for exhausted combat units.

Homeless vets will be able to enjoy three hots and a cot — meals and a safe place to sleep — during the event while obtaining help with medical and mental-health counseling, dental, chiropractic, legal assistance and a homeless court, employment and vocational rehabilitation counseling, VA assistance, Social Security benefits claims, tax matters and other assistance.

For more information, check out www.southernoregonstanddown.org or contact Rick Freund, one of the event coordinators, at 541-643-0254 or send an e-mail to huey619@charter.net. Freund is a Vietnam war veteran who found help at a stand down at "the Dom."

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