By Bette and Ed Sharpe, Glendale Daily Planet
The Glendale Star
For the greater part of Saturday, representatives from support agencies, businesses and non-profit groups came together to help those who have sacrificed to serve our country.
Arizona veterans gathered on the west side, needing assistance with legal matters, health, schooling and employment.
Stand Up for Veterans was started by Mayor Jerry Weiers and for the fifth year, was hosted at Glendale Community College. Assistance came from many educators, employers , vendors, veteran assistance groups and more.
The half-day event offered a variety of service and programs available for veterans, including free legal advice and aid. There were several court representatives on hand to discuss legal issues. There was an opportunity to perform community service for reduction of fines.
Veterans with a photo identification had the opportunity to get a driver’s license. Employers were ready to interview and hire on the spot.
Veterans wanting to polish a resume, or start one, could receive professional help. Veterans had the opportunity to learn about higher education opportunities at Glendale Community College, learn about local social services available to veterans and their families, and if needed, apply for health care and other benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Phoenix Veterans Affairs “Welcome Home Event.” Plus, there was a free lunch and a free haircut, thanks to Rolf’s.
City of Glendale Legal Services was on hand, as well as other legal entities to help resolve old warrants, fines, and just to offer legal advice to the veterans.
If a veteran had a fine due, the Glendale Community Action Program coordinated the public service activities at Sahuaro Ranch Park, where those wishing to work off their fines were given the opportunity to do so. Repair and repainting of fencing was accomplished.
Kari Sliva, chief of staff for Weiers, who was a volunteer at the event, said, “The final number was 501. That is 275 veterans. The rest were family members or guests. The ‘bell’ was rung 39 times, meaning a veteran was hired on the spot, or has a job interview.”
Jeff Turney, chairman of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Veterans Affairs Committee said, “The chamber of commerce’s military & veterans affairs committee was proud to partner with Mayor Jerry Weiers in this important event that supports veterans. This event grows larger every year and it makes us all proud to hear the bell ring every time a veteran was hired. The court services provided by Judge (Elizabeth) Finn’s office helped veterans restore stability into their lives and allowed them to stand up for themselves as valued members of our communities. We can’t thank all the volunteers and sponsors enough for all the support they provided today. A special thanks goes out to Glendale Community College for providing the location, which let us all thank our military and veteran participants.”
Weiers, the “father” of the event, extended a heartfelt statement: “I’m humbled with the turnout and results of this year’s Stand Up for Veterans. Thank you to everyone involved; 39 jobs and 501 served.”