Veterans benefit fair: 'It literally helped save my life'
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Nearly 1,000 veterans in the Lower Valley took advantage of the Stand Down benefit event Saturday.
Happening across the country, veterans were able to get help with everything from clothes to jobs.
Nate Dabney is one of many veterans looking for employment. He just completed his time with the Army. The pressure to find a job is on his shoulders to provide for his family.
"It sucks because of the back injury I can't really get a job," said Nate Dabney.
After back surgery in July, Dabney's body was partially paralyzed, limiting what he can do. He's tried to flood online jobsite with resumes.
"The websites are kind of, the E benefits websites and stuff are huge. I go on and I spend days in them but it just gets really confusing," said Dabney.
Venues and career coaches here are able to help Dabney expand his search. And counselors are able to help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which he also suffers.
"It literally helped save my life from some of the issues I was dealing with," Dabney told KIMA.
The Yakima Valley Veterans Coalition raised over $10 grand for the event. Free clothing, haircuts, housing opportunities, medical and dental exams are all free of charge.
Nearly 16,000 vets are in Yakima County. Organizers told KIMA they expect a larger turnout, 200 more people compared to last year.
"It's cool seeing so many veterans getting help," said Dabney.
Dabney remains hopeful as he networks and distributes his resume.
It's events like these that help remind our veterans they're not alone.
The Yakima Valley Veterans Coalition told KIMA, they hope to expand the event next year.