NASA Education’s John Blanchard told me that about 325 Veterans came to Camp Algonquin for the Stand Down that his organization has been putting on twice a year for a couple of years.
The only “celebrity” was 8th Congressional District U.S. Representative Melissa Bean this year. She didn’t speak, rather walked around and talked to the Veterans.
So, the two-day event was about service more than publicity.
35,000 pounds of clothing were distributed.
166 stayed overnight at the McHenry County Conservation District-owned, but YMCA-operated campground.
For the first time, there was snow. Melting.
Get off the path and mud was the result.
Naturally, I arrived about lunch time.
There was a big feed.
Some of the volunteers I recognized from before.
Blanchard told me some had been volunteering since the first Stand Down.
He also told me that seven of the Veterans would be staying in Crystal Lake to enter his group’s training program.
“This is our outreach,” he said.
“Where are you going to put those pictures,” one Veteran asked as I was leaving.
“On McHenry County Blog,” I told them as they posed for this photo. “And, it will show the snow.”