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      Stand Down In GI Aims to Reach Homeless Veterans

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      Omaha- Homeless Veterans can comein from the cold to get assistance and a hot meal at a "Stand Down." The eventwill take place Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. atthe Evangelical Free Church in Grand Island, located at 2609 S. Blaine Street.

      The event is being held inconjunction with a community-wide Project Homeless Connect.

      The VA Nebraska-Western IowaHealth Care System (NWIHCS) will provide free services for homeless Veteranswho are eligible for VA health care to include health screening and a generalVA assessment.

      In addition, Veterans canreceive limited free clothing and a hot meal.

      Veterans are encouraged toenroll for VA health care benefits before the event at the Grand Island VA at2201 N. Broadwell Ave. However, Veterans who are not enrolled for VAhealth care benefits can register at the Stand Down and receive informationabout the available services.

      Stand Down is a military termthat means service members are removed from the combat field to receive restand rehabilitation.

      It is one of manyopportunities for the VA to reach out and connect with homeless Veterans toprovide them much-needed rest and rehabilitation.

      "Our Veterans honorablyserved America. This is our opportunity to serve them," said Linda Twomey, VANWIHCS Mental Health Specialty Programs director. "The Stand Down is one of theVA's many programs to reach out and serve homeless Veterans in ourcommunities."

      VA NWIHCS employees servemore than 161,000 Veterans in Nebraska, western Iowa and portions of Kansas andMissouri. Community-based outpatient clinics are located in Lincoln, GrandIsland, North Platte, Norfolk, and Bellevue, Neb., and Shenandoah, Iowa; and acontract outreach clinic in O'Neill, Neb.

      For more information, visit http://www.nebraska.va.gov.

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