North Idaho veterans resign over 'getting the information out'

COEUR d'ALENE – A haircut wasn't on Greg Lindberg's plan for the day as he headed to the North Idaho Veterans Stand Down at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds on Saturday, but he figured a haircut was in store for him.

“I’m not used to being the center of attention,” he said with a laugh as Hayden Sport Clips’ Amber Stewart cut his hair.

The Jacklin Building was a hive of activity as nearly 100 vendors offered veterans and families everything from food boxes and dental exams to legal assistance and hearing aids. The impressive turnout kept organizers on their toes – by 10:30 a.m., Panhandle Health had already returned for additional supplies.

“It’s about getting the information out. Many people don't know what is available to them. There's so much going on, but everything is precise. Military people, we can take care of the organization,” Lindberg said.

Events like Stand Down make it easier to access services that many veterans and their families don't know they are entitled to.

Lindberg was grateful to people like Stewart for showing up for her.

“These guys are taking time off from their lives, from their schedules, and they could be making money,” Lindberg said.

As Lindberg finished his haircut, he straightened back to his 6-foot-3 frame and said he had worked up an appetite for Texas Roadhouse's lunch at the event.

“We look confident,” he said.

John Merwald said the event has evolved over time into more of a veterans fair. Organizer Debbi Nadrchal was excited to see the group of veterans they serve grow as they approach three decades of veteran service.

About 350 people received assistance from North Idaho Veterans Stand Down during 2023 and it expects the group will help about 500-700 people this year.

“There have been more homeless vets this year,” she said, noting the changing needs of the veteran community. “This is a cause that is very close to my heart and I just want to help as many veterans as possible.”

Terri Gasper and Douglas Harsh were among the hundreds in attendance at the Veterans Stand Down at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds on Saturday. Harsh shared information about church services and other resources available through Real Life Ministries.
Greg Lindberg relaxes during a haircut from Amber Stewart during the Veterans Stand Down at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.

Anna Harden

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