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Stand Down Provides Help for Veterans

Bridging the Gap

Veterans who are struggling with homelessness can get help this weekend. Stand Down 2019 will be held Thursday through Saturday at the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island.

Mike Malmstrom, President of a group called Bridging the Gap, says the Stand Down will offer a variety of services such as legal aid and medical care for veterans.

"We've came a long way in 19 years from having two storage units and we didn't know where we were going to get the money to pay for them, to the point now where we have three trailers. It is almost like a one man show you can take it down the road if you had to." 

Bridging the Gap currently has around 20 board members who help with job searching and shelter referrals.

Showers, food, and clothing are available for homeless veterans. Malmstrom hopes in the future to offer a dental bus so more veterans can be served. 

"A lot of these services are thanks to the agencies that help provide them. If we didn't have the agencies we wouldn't have a stand down. It would be a camp out and we are not there to do that." 

43 agencies, including Goodwill and the VA will partipate in this weekend's Stand Down. Registration hours are 4-6 pm on Thursday and 7 am to noon on Friday.  

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.