A Navy vet meets Joy, the Red Cross therapy dog.
A Navy vet meets Joy, the Red Cross therapy dog.

By Rebecca Boehm

In a room of decorated jackets and dedicated members of the Armed Forces, the Red Cross had the opportunity to serve in the Veteran Stand Down at American Legion in Burlington. Veterans were invited to come in for a hot breakfast, haircut, and access services. According to American Legion staff member Veterans have diverse needs and often “don’t know where to start” when it comes to finding help.

The Red Cross is reaching out across the region and across the country to support active members of the military and their families and vets as they navigate the challenges of resuming civilian life.

Along with the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, VA Homefront and others, Red Cross volunteers from Snohomish County offered comfort kits, first aid kits, Veteran/Military Resource Guides and affection from K9 Action Team member Joy. “Veterans would come up to pet the dog and share stories with us,” explained one Red Crosser. “We are truly honored to hear their stories and serve those who served our country.

Thank you to the Red Crossers who came out to support Veterans during Thursday’s Veteran Stand Down at the American Legion in Burlington. Veteran Stand Down events will continue across the region and Red Cross will be there, providing support.

“We connected with wonderful veterans and we also got to know other organizations who give additional services,” explained Bev Walker, SAF Regional Manager.

American Legion Staff member Ken Saunders added, “The one thing we accomplished, …with other organizations, was to get knowledge of where we can send Veterans who need services.”

Pictured: Navy Veteran with Joy the therapy dog.

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