No less than two local events benefiting Nye County’s veteran population are coming up just around the corner for the Pahrump community.
The Pahrump Veterans Stand Down Committee is seeking exhibitors for next month’s veteran stand down, while a local dentist’s office is offering a free dental day for all veterans next week.
Dr. Steven DeLisle will provide one free benefit per veteran or immediate family member on Tuesday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
DeLisle’s office, Children’s Dentistry, is located at 1017 East Basin Street.
The dental work provides for either a single filling or extraction procedure.
Nye County commission candidate Rick Osborne organized the free dental day.
He quickly pointed out that he is just doing the leg work to inform local veterans about the event.
“Not to be confused with me in working on the patient’s mouth. I’m here only from the standpoint that I’m helping to organize it. He’s doing all of the work and the credit certainly needs to go to him, because this is a very beneficial thing that he’s agreed to do for the vets. I’m just getting the word out throughout the county for the vets to know that this will be available for them,” he said.
Interested veterans must schedule an appointment at 751-2184 as the procedures are being handled on a first come, first serve basis.
The annual Veterans Stand Down program will also provide a variety of services and resources for homeless veterans.
Committee members met this month to discuss planning and logistics for the event coming up on Oct. 16, from 9 a.m., to 3 p.m., at the Home Depot parking lot along north Highway 160.
Committee Liaison and Pahrump Town Board member Dr. Tom Waters said the stand down is primarily designed for homeless veterans but anyone who served in the military is welcome to attend.
He also said the event mirrors the regular stand downs held in Las Vegas regularly.
“We hope to provide everything to take care of their immediate needs which are usually showers and haircuts as well as finding out what they need to apply for. Lately the ones in Las Vegas have been getting bigger and bigger. What they are doing is inviting other veterans to come out just to talk to the homeless veterans and let them know that it’s not the end of the world for them,” he said.
One caveat, however, is veterans who plan to attend the event need to provide proof of their service at the stand down.
“You have to somehow show that you are a veteran,” Waters said. “If someone stops by and says they are a veteran but they don’t have any papers, they can still get whatever we have there. We’re not going to turn them away. If they want their benefits, they will have to show their discharge papers,” he said.
One of the more difficult tasks associated with the Veterans Stand Down is locating homeless veterans, and transporting them to the event.
John Michael is the veteran representative for AmeriCorps and NyE Communities Coalition.
This week he said volunteers will use vans and scour the areas where the veterans are thought to be living.
“We have a van as well as the Disabled American Veterans and the VFW. We are getting the word out where the vehicles will pick up the individuals,” he said.
Stand Down Committee Chair Linda Wright said she believes this year’s event may be the largest gathering to date for the Pahrump community.
More than 23 exhibitors and vendors have signed on to take part in the event.
“We put this out to the community and we’re overwhelmed that so many of the community wanted to participate,” she said.
Additionally, Wright said that after learning there are some veterans who are homeless by choice, the stand down will provide essential provisions for the individuals to take with them following the event.
“Some of our veterans prefer not to live in homes. They prefer to live up in the hills. It has a lot to do with society and they want to be by themselves. We will have toiletries like soap and dental care items. They will also receive canned goods and other non-perishable items, plus we’ll also have hot food for them on that day,” she said.
Representatives from dozens of agencies will provide information ranging from housing and employment to suicide prevention and problem gambling.
Wright said would-be vendors can still sign on if they want to participate.
The deadline is Tuesday, September 30.
Those interested in taking part in the stand down as a volunteer or vendor can contact Wright at 350-0269.