HELP FOR VETERANS — Stand Down provides support; Orange event coming later in 2023

Published 12:22 am Wednesday, February 8, 2023

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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.

Last week, the couple were among other veterans in Port Arthur at the Southeast Texas Stand Down.

The event is aimed at veterans, homeless veterans and individuals experiencing homelessness to provide support information and availability.

Terry Loyd signs a paper at the Beaumont Vet Center table. (Mary Meaux/The Leader)

Rita Monson, grants planner for the City of Orange, said anyone local who missed the event still has more opportunities to get involved.

“We do have a Stand down in Orange at the Expo center on May 19,” Monson said. “There is also one in Beaumont and Jasper. It is hosted by The Veterans for Veterans and the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission.”

Monson is part of the Orange team planning the event and is in charge of donations and door prizes.

“We have had the event in Orange for several years,” she said. “It has just now grown bigger and has gotten more exposure.”

More than 30 nonprofits were on hand last week with information on housing, mental health screenings, legal services, Veterans Affairs claims and benefits, substance abuse treatment information, HIV/AIDS information, food stamps, survival benefits and 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 the 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.

Both men appreciate that if they have questions they can get answers at the event.

— Written by Mary Meaux