Every year since July 29, 2010 members of the Thousand Oaks Elks Lodge #2477 have supported and participated in the Ventura County Stand Down. During that first experience with the Stand Down one issue that was not yet resolved was the provision of bag lunches for Sunday, as the veterans are all taken back to their pickup points after 12:00 noon on Sunday. Phone calls to the other three Elks lodges in Ventura County, i.e., Ventura, Oxnard & Simi Valley, readily yielded commitments for 200 bag lunches. Upon delivery on Sunday, there were more than 200 lunches, and added items included playing cards, shirts & caps.
(from the Ventura County Star)
“Stand Down is named after the military’s practice of giving soldiers as much time as possible to rest and recover when they return from the battlefield.
Ventura County Stand Down, and others like it across the country, offer a weekend of food, shelter, showers and clean clothes as well as access to various services: medical care, substance-abuse counseling, job referrals, legal advice and information about permanent housing.”
2010 was the first time members of Thousand Oaks Elks Lodge were involved in the Stand Down, but it was seen as “only the beginning” of a long relationship.
Elks have pledged not to forget hospitalized veterans, and each year they visit hundreds of thousands of patients at VA medical centers and veteran’s hospitals, hosting parties and providing companionship. They invite patients who can leave the facilities to events at Elks Lodges, on fishing trips, to ball games, and more.