Beale Airmen volunteer, provide veterans with basic needs

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shawn Nickel
  • 9th RW Public Affairs
More than 70 members of Team Beale volunteered alongside local community groups and fellow service members during the 2012 Veteran's Stand Down at River Bottoms Park in Marysville, Calif., Aug. 23-25.

The annual stand down provided basic needs, such as medical, financial, mental and religious services to veterans and their families and especially targeted homeless and less fortunate veterans.

"It gets pretty rough out here sometimes," said Cole Young, a homeless U.S. Army veteran from Marysville. "These essentials, like sleeping bags and new cold weather clothing, are vital as winter approaches. Everything here is a huge financial break; medical, food, social security, it all adds up."

Along with escorting fellow veterans, Beale Airmen set up tents, chairs, provide water and food for the participants and handed out donated clothing to those in need.

"Any one of us could be here one day," said Senior Airman Stephen Scharthi, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron construction inspector. "These veterans did a lot to pave the road for us and this is the least we can do to pay them back."

Although the event served many basic needs, some veterans came for the camaraderie.

"Just being around other people who have done what we have done is a big deal," said James Malsi, a Korean War veteran living in Marysville. "This event brings together some of Americas best and shows that Americas best care for each other; Its veterans helping veteran."

The organizers of the stand down publicly thanked Beale Airmen during the opening ceremony Aug. 24 for their dedicated and being a great resource in the community.

"We couldn't pull off an event like this without volunteers," said J.E McGill Jr., stand down organizer. "Beale Airmen provide a huge amount of the labor preparing for this throughout the year and always come through when it comes time to really put on the show. We can't thank them enough for their hard work."