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Nassau County’s Veterans Service Agency (VSA) will host its 32nd annual Veterans Winter Stand Down on Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Freeport Armory.

Each year, the event provides donations and services to veterans in need. This year, it will be a drive-by event with donations only. Veterans in need in services, such as counseling or assistance with employment and receiving benefits, can call the VSA at 516-572-6565.

“I’d like to thank my fellow veterans who made this happen,” said VSA Director Ralph Esposito. “Without them, we’re nothing. These are the guys that come out, they’ll be here on the 24th helping our veterans.”

County Executive Laura Curran and County Legislator Debra Mulé announced during a news conference in front of the Armory on Thursday that the stand down would take place in a modified version this year. 

Volunteers, many of them veterans themselves, will place donation bags directly in veterans’ cars that drive up to the Armory. Bags will contain winter jackets, clothes, boots and non-perishable foods, as well as a holiday turkey. Veterans without a vehicle can walk to the front doors of the Armory to receive a donation bag. All must wear masks.

“Normally during the stand down there would be a line down to the corner,” Mulé  said. “Inside there would be great numbers of vendors providing services to our well-deserving veterans. But things have to be different this year, so I’m so pleased to hear that we are doing it in a way that’s going to be safe and effective.”

There are 56,000 veterans in Nassau County, according to the VSA. Many are either disabled, homeless or struggling financially, especially as unemployment has surged during the pandemic.

For more information about the Winter Stand Down and the VSA, call 516-572-6565.

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