Bay Pines Stand Down for Homeless Veterans

Bay Pines VA – C.W. Bill Young Medical Center. Photo Courtesy: VA.gov

Pinellas County veterans without a place to stay or those at risk of losing their home can tap into a wide range of services and resources Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in the courtyard at the C.W. Bill Young Medical Center.

Along with housing and employment information, legal experts will be available for veterans with legal obligations or active misdemeanor cases. In 2016, more than 80 veterans were helped by the Stand Down Court.

In addition, veterans can get a medical screening, free meals, toiletries, haircuts and clothing items. Veterans are asked to bring a copy of their DD214 “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty,” birth certificate, social security card and two documents that can verify their mailing address. Even without documentation, veterans will be assisted.

Call 727-398-6661 extension 17829 for more details or with questions about the Stand Down.

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President Signs Bill Renaming Bay Pines VA after Bill Young

The late Congressman C.W. Bill Young.

The late Congressman C.W. Bill Young.

There are two news reports out of Washington D.C. confirming that President Barack Obama signed a bill just hours ago, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, renaming Pinellas County’s Bay Pines VA Medical Center in Florida after the late Congressman C.W. Bill Young.

Young passed away last month while serving his 22nd term in Congress. He served nine years in the Army National Guard and six more years in the Reserves. In Congress, Young was a tireless advocate for veterans and the military.

Stars and Stripes White House, Capitol Hill and veterans reporter Leo Shane III posted the breaking news on his Twitter account, @LeoShane:

White House has officially signed into law renaming the Bay Pines VA center in Florida after the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young.

Another report of the bill signing was posted by Tampa Bay Times Washington Bureau chief Alex Leary.

Bay Pines VA Police Kill Knife Wielding Veteran

Photo courtesy of Bay Pines VA.

Photo courtesy of Bay Pines VA.

Police officers with the Bay Pines VA Medical Center shot and killed a 68-year-old veteran who entered the emergency room Friday evening and said he had a bomb according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times.

Authorities have yet to establish a motive for his threat or to identify the veteran – who was carrying a backpack that was later found to hold a “hoax device.”

When officers with the Bay Pines VA Police Department arrived, the man brandished a knife and threatened the officers, (FBI spokesman Dave) Couvertier said. “He lunged and the officers took action,” he said.

… Bay Pines officials evacuated parts of the first floor of the center while bomb experts inspected the pipe. They determined it was a “hoax device,” Couvertier said.

Law enforcement officers searched the facility for other devices but didn’t find any. Investigators believe the incident is isolated but remained unsure of the man’s motives late Friday. His next of kin had not yet been notified of his death.

The FBI is leading the investigation because the shooting took place at federal facility.

A Push to Rename Bay Pines VA after Bill Young

Photo courtesy of Bay Pines VA.

Photo courtesy of Bay Pines VA.

An estimated  100 members of Congress are expected to attend the funeral service Thursday in Largo, Florida for Congressman Bill Young.

He died last week at 82 with the distinction of being the longest serving Republican in Congress.

As a tribute, Congress is considering a bill to rename the Pinellas County Bay Pines VA Medical Center after Young.

On the Senate side, US Sen. Bill Nelson is sponsoring the legislation.

“Of course Bay Pines was something that he (Young) cared about,” Nelson said. “He cared about veterans. He cared about the veterans’ health care system. He was one of the premiere appropriators when it came with anything that had to do with military and veterans. And so, this is a very appropriate naming of a federal facility.”

Nelson expects the House to pass their bill this week adding that the Senate will take up the renaming measure next week.

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