Veterans attend Stand Down in Colville

RaeLynn Ricarte

Nearly 200 veterans, including 23 who were homeless, turned out Saturday for the first Stand Down since 2015 in Colville — and they were treated like dignitaries by organizers and vendors.
There were some jokes about the long line to sign in at the Stevens County Fairgrounds, which some veterans said reminded them of military service.
“All you guys, hurry up and get in line. Next thing you get to learn is wait,” joked Mike Zorn, an Army veteran who deployed to Vietnam. “It looks like a fine line, I have to say that.”
“What we need is a drill instructor,” someone yelled. 
Vocalist Sara Brown of Kettle Falls entertained those waiting to sign in while enjoying donuts and coffee.
Brown also sang the National Anthem in the opening ceremony and was joined by some veterans.
Lloyd Ward, a veteran who spent 20 years in the Army, led a prayer asking God for blessings upon the men and women at the event.
“I really pray this day will be an encouragement for all here,” he said. 
State Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, R-Republic, also spoke briefly about the importance of supporting military families who had sacrificed for national defense.
She said her grandmother had challenged her as a young girl to make those sacrifices worthwhile by giving back to veterans, and she had passed on that challenge to her own children.