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News Story
Updated: 11/05/2013 08:00:01AM

Stand Down for veterans

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SUN PHOTO BY DONNELL BATES
Seen here with handwoven mats made from recycled plastic bags, each of which takes about 800 bags and six weeks to complete, and from the Daughters of the American Revolution are, Kathy Knee, Penny Fahrbach, Chair of the Veterans Affairs of the Charlotte Bay Chapter, and Suzy Hackett, Regent of the Charlotte Bay Chapter.

SUN PHOTO BY DONNELL BATES
Preparing to present the colors to open the Stand Down are members of the US Paratroopers Honor Guard. From left, Rich Bohnen, Dave Rockow, John Ross, Ed Barker, Bill Scott and Ernie Young.

SUN PHOTO BY DONNELL BATES
Chaplain Southi Tim gives the morning's opening prayer for the vets, volunteers and guests at the 9th annual Stand Down at the American Legion Post 110 in Port Charlotte.

SUN PHOTO BY DONNELL BATES
Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during the opening ceremony at Stand Down are guests, volunteers, disabled and homeless vets on Saturday.

SUN PHOTO BY DONNELL BATES
Preparing to enter the line to receive their supplies are the vets accompanied by an escort to help load and find proper sizes.

SUN PHOTO BY DONNELL BATES
Playing taps prior to the colors being retired at the Stand Down is Samson Del Torto, a freshman from Lemon Bay High School.

SUN PHOTO BY DONNELL BATES
Volunteer and escort Dick Karch from Vietnam Veterans of America Post 1037 is seen here helping Charles Paris, an Army Vietnam vet who served from 1970-1971.

SUN PHOTO BY DONNELL BATES
Charlotte County Commissioner Bill Truex is seen here with volunteer Cyndi Carley presenting Army vet Lee Phillips, who served in Desert Storm, with a handmade mat made of approximately 800 recycled plastic bags.

SUN PHOTO BY DONNELL BATES
Receiving a supply of food from the Harry Chapin Food Bank by volunteer Juan Rosado is Army vet Slim Gilcrest, who served in Korea from 1969-1972.

SUN PHOTO BY DONNELL BATES
Hairstylist Marge Umbrina volunteered her morning to give the homeless and disabled vets a free haircut during the Stand Down on Saturday at the American Legion Post 110. Seen here with Marge getting a fresh haircut is disabled vet Peter Matthews, who served with the Air Force in the first Gulf War. See more photos on page 7.

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On Saturday, American Legion Post 110 in Port Charlotte hosted the ninth annual Stand Down for disabled and homeless veterans. With the help of 28 local organizations, including the American Legion Post 110 Ladies Auxiliary, the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, Elks Rotonda, Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Punta Gorda Women's Club, vets were provided with supplies to help them get through the colder months ahead. Donated clothing, toiletries, sleeping bags, food from the Harry Chapin Food Bank and other local food pantries, mats made of recycled plastic bags handwoven by the Daughters of the American Revolution with the help of the Purple Heart Ladies to help keep them dry while sleeping, free haircuts and a hot meal helped dozens of homeless who came out for the annual Stand Down.

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