Area veterans will have a chance to catch up on what the county is doing to help them when Riverbank hosts the monthly Stanislaus County Veterans Advisory Commission (VAC) meeting on Monday, Oct. 26. Local resident Diane Talbert will be the honored guest and speaker at the event taking place at 5:30 p.m. at the Riverbank City Council Chambers, 6707 Third St., Riverbank.
The commission was established by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors in April 2012 to provide veterans a forum to discuss issues important to their health, welfare and wellbeing and to advise the board and county staff on all matters important to the Veterans community.
Since its inception, the commission has established committees and programs to help veterans with education and job placement, find and use services available to them through the county and the Veterans Administration and acquiring two handicap accessible buses and volunteer drivers to transport homebound veterans to medical appointments.
Through the commission, an ad hoc committee was formed to see the feasibility of procuring a building to establish a one-stop shop to include all county veterans’ services and those established by the Veterans Administration. It would also be a place county veterans organizations like the VFW and American Legion posts and others could use free of charge.
The fruition of that effort has been the establishment of the Veterans Foundation of Stanislaus County, a non-profit board to raise funds for the lease and operation of the building once one is found. The county has pledged $100,000 a year for 10 years and the city of Modesto $80,000 a year to help fund the project. Requests for proposals from businesses and real estate agencies have been sent out and a progress report on the project will be presented at Mondays VAC meeting.
District 1 Supervisor Bill O’Brien is also scheduled to be in attendance along with representatives from Congressman Jeff Denham’s office and county staff to discuss various veteran programs and upcoming Veterans Day activities. It is also a chance for area veterans to let their concerns be known. Riverbank Mayor Richard O’Brien will also be in attendance.
Talbert will be recognized for her contribution to making life better for those who have served their country. Among her accomplishments is the organization of the Royal Neighbors annual free lunch for veterans that will take place on Nov. 7 at the Riverbank Community Center. She also works with veterans on an individual basis by helping them with medical and banking needs, eating healthy, rides to doctors’ appointments, shopping trips and providing home services such as house cleaning and yard work for homebound veterans.