Camp Algonquin Stand Down Hosts Record Number

Veterans have lunch at Camp Algonquin. Organizer John Blanchard can be seen top right next to Amy Johnson, who is in charge of the details.

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.

Here are the staffers for Congressman Don Manzullo and Congresswoman Melissa Bean.

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.

The lunch line snaked through the service providers room next to the dining room.

Main men snaked through the service provider room waiting for lunch.

So, the two-day event was about service more than publicity.

While mainly men were standing in the room next door, these Veterans were chowing down.

35,000 pounds of clothing were distributed.

Undoubtedly, the TV room was packed last night with 166 staying at Camp Algonquin.

166 stayed overnight at the McHenry County Conservation District-owned, but YMCA-operated campground.

The road down to the lower building, where clothes were distributed.

For the first time, there was snow. Melting.

One could still see it had been a snowy winter.

Get off the path and mud was the result.

Naturally, I arrived about lunch time.

There was a big feed.

Volunteers staffed the food line.

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.

Stand Down Vets posing before the main building at Camp Algonquin.

“On McHenry County Blog,” I told them as they posed for this photo.  “And, it will show the snow.”

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