Chucking ducks to help Operation Stand Down
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Locals are invited to Texas A&M University – Central Texas this evening, not only for the university’s annual picnic but for a chance to help raise funds for Operation Stand Down Central Texas by participating in the Chuck-A-Duck Contest.
Only 500 ducks are available to throw, said Joann Courtland, the director of Operation Stand Down Central Texas. The picnic starts at 5 p.m., with ducks being sold until the duck-chucking starts at 6 p.m. on the university’s rugby pitch.
The idea behind the contest is simple: For $5, participants get a rubber duck to “chuck” at a target and the one whose duck comes closest, wins the grand prize – a 65-inch HD television.
All funds will go to OSDCT, which is in the final days of preparing for its Spring Stand Down on Saturday, April 28, at the Army National Guard Armory in Killeen.
Last spring’s stand down had approximately 75 homeless veterans attend
Each homeless veteran will receive a hot breakfast and lunch, hot showers, haircuts, medical exams to include wound care, dental exams to include oral cancer screening and hygiene, eye exams, clothing, shoes, and goody bags.
“We want to provide the participants with as many services in one area as possible,” Courtland said
Courtland and her group of volunteers have kept busy since the last Stand Down in October, connecting with homeless veterans at OSDCT’s headquarters in Copperas Cove, where OSDCT collects donated clothes and other items to distribute.
They are still seeking some items ahead of next weekend’s spring Stand Down.
“The couple of items that we still need are new sleeping bags (Academy and Walmart have one that is just under $9 each), new undergarments for both men and women, all sizes, and those travel first aid kits - Walmart has them for $1.”
Other groups with providing support at the event will include the VA, Texas Veterans Commission, Disabled American Veterans Mobile Van, Harker Heights Vet Center, Lone Star Legal Aid, Killeen Housing Authority, along with the Texas Workforce Commission.
For more information on Operation Stand Down Central Texas call 254-681-8522. The group has a Facebook page located at facebook.com/OperationStandDownCentralTexas. Financial contributions may be sent to P.O. Box 887, Copperas Cove, TX 76522.