TAKE A LOOK — Veterans learn of services at Stand Down event in Port Arthur
Published 12:40 am Sunday, February 5, 2023
Terry Loyd and husband Larry Loyd entered the military together and spent almost 20 years serving the country.
The Bridge City couple spent time in California, Okinawa, Japan, North Dakota, back to California, Germany for temporary duty in support of Desert Storm and England.
Terry worked in administration while Larry worked in ground refueling.
The two were recruited right after high school; the recruiter’s name was Master Sergeant Bobby Mcgee, Larry said, noting the recruiter’s name matched a Janis Joplin song.
“We went into basic training nine days apart,” Terry said.
On Friday the couple were among other veterans at the Bob Bowers Civic Center for Southeast Texas Stand Down.
The event is aimed at veterans, homeless veterans and individuals experiencing homelessness. More than 30 nonprofits were on hand with information on housing, mental health screenings, legal services, Veterans Affairs claims and benefits, substance abuse treatment information, HIV/AIDS information, food stamps, services for women veterans, survival benefits, help with documents and clothing.
“It’s good to get vets together and see that people still care,” Terry Loyd said.
While they were in a different state they had tried, unsuccessfully, to get assistance from VA but found their questions were answered when attending a Stand Down event in Port Arthur.
Terry is 100 percent disabled while Larry is 70 percent disabled. They learned of the many veterans services at the event they attended some years ago.
And now they pass their knowledge on to others.
Larry said there was even a survey at Friday’s event asking about VA transportation. Currently the closest VA hospital is in Houston.
“What’s really good about it is they asked the vets questions,” he said.
Veteran Ronnie Moon and his wife Roxanne Moon walked through the civic center to see what services were offered, though they didn’t need any.
“This event is really nice for veterans,” Ronnie said. “We came by to see what they’re presenting. It’s a good thing.”
Ronnie Moon is a Vietnam veteran, having served in the Navy for 4.5 years. When he returned to the States he couldn’t get a job due to the public’s perception of Vietnam veterans, so he enlisted in the Air Force and spent about four years there.
Gregory Mayfield isn’t a veteran but attended the event to see what services were being offered.
One of the pluses of the event, he said, was having a variety of services in one place so those needing assistance do not have to travel all over.
Veterans Scott Michael and Willard Brannon toured the civic center gathering information and items for veterans.
Brannon served in Army Reserves from 1975 or 1981, National Guard from 1983 to 1989 and was active duty from 1989 to 1993.
Michael served in the Army from 2000 to 2006 and served in Afghanistan.
“This is really awesome,” said Brannon, of Kountze, adding he attends the Stand Down each year, including the ones in Beaumont and Orange.
Both men appreciate that if they have questions they can get answers at the event.