828Vets, an action-oriented organization assisting and supporting military veterans, has been busy. In the latter part of September, the group hosted the second annual Warrior’s Walk and participated in the Smoky Mountains Veteran Stand Down.
On Sept. 23, beginning at Franklin’s Little Tennessee Greenway Tassee Shelter, participants in the Warrior’s Walk made their way down the path for about 828 meters as a way to draw attention to and honor local veterans and all that 828Vets has accomplished in the community. Walkers returned to Tassee Shelter for food, fellowship, and fun.
Then, on Sept. 28, 828Vets participated in the Veteran Stand Down, which has been held for nine years at the Carpenter Community Building and hosted by Macon County Veteran Services (MCVS). A variety of organizations provided items and services during the one-day, five-hour event. Services included veterans’ benefits information, haircuts, dental care, legal and education advice, mental health, family-related services, and ministry opportunities.
About 50 vendors manned tables, including 828Vets, and about 175 people attended, according to MCVS Director Leigh Tabor, who oversaw the event with Assistant Service Officer Christie Black.
“The seven Western North Carolina counties participate in the event each year,” said Tabor, who shared an example of why Veteran Stand Down is so important to veterans. “We had an (approximately) 85-year-old veteran from another county with a wife who has Alzheimer’s and a disabled child. He’s concerned his wife will need medical care … so we were able to [connect] him with three individuals who may be able to help him.”
The Macon Baptist Association worked with Normandie Restaurant to cook all the food that was donated for breakfast and lunch at the Veteran Stand Down. Volunteers donated time, food and other items.