A quilt of valor was recently presented as a surprise to local veteran Clyde Vincent, who also serves as a veteran’s advocate for those who need his assistance.
“We moved here 10 years ago knowing no one,” said his wife Christy Mabry Vincent. “In the 13-county area, my husband has aided hundreds of veterans.”
Clyde Vincent even obtained his bachelor’s degree from LMU at the age of 55, she said.
“Everyone knows my husband, veteran or not. The connections and resources he has developed to aid veterans in all situations is nothing short of a miracle,” she said.
The Vincents are involved in an annual event, which will be held Sept. 24 at the National Guard Armory, located on Sutherland Avenue in Knoxville.
The Knoxville Area Veteran Stand Down will be held at the armory from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Breakfast will be served 8-9:30 a.m. and lunch is noon to 1:30 p.m.
Parking is limited. Be sure to use the transportation that is provided for veterans. Veteran registration and clothing forms will be provided the day of the event.
“You can help us help vets by donations and by visiting www.kavsd.org/home,” she added.
According to its website, Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s estimated 200,000 homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets. Homeless are brought together in a single location for one to three days and are provided access to the community resources needed to begin addressing their individual problems and rebuilding their lives. In the military, Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being. Today’s Stand Down affords the same opportunity to homeless veterans. Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies and community agencies who serve the homeless.
“God blessed us first in becoming husband and wife. He also blessed all the broken roads that brought us to where we were when we met,” Christy said. “Our lives changed in that moment. We have not stopped since.”
“Just like our mailman Keith, rain nor snow, nor sleet stops us from living and helping people after 22 years in USCG, rescue, patrol, law enforcement and logistics,” she added.
“What gratitude do I have? God first and my hero, Clyde Vincent,” she said. “May your banner forever wave, from your darling wife and No. 1 volunteer.”
Reach Marisa Anders at 423-254-5588 or on Twitter @newsgirl88.