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The Times

PORTAGE — Monday is the last unofficial day of summer! Back in the 1880s, it was decided that the first Monday of September would be celebrated as Labor Day to give most common working men and their families a day of rest.

Back in the those days, men would work endless hours a day, most days of the week. In 1883, the Knights of Labor in New York organized a street parade to exhibit strength and spirit of the trade and labor organizations. It was a festival of amusement for the common workers and their families, and thus Labor Day was born.

Speaking of the “land of the free and the home of the brave,” I want to let all service members, veterans and their families know about the second annual Porter County Stand Down at our American Legion Post 260, 5675 Mulberry. The members of Post 260, their Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion are hosting this Stand Down by Standing Up For All Veterans from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ON Saturday.

During the Vietnam War, Stand Downs were a concept created here at home for homeless veterans. During a war, a Stand Down was a time away from combat to take care of hygiene, have a warm meal, receive medical/dental care and enjoy fellowship with all their battle buddies to renew their sense of well-being.

This Saturday, the Stand Down in Portage will allow vets to rest from the combat of homelessness and struggles of day-to-day life, and to receive services and resources. They will also be able to enjoy a complimentary breakfast and lunch, the appreciation of the community and the camaraderie of fellow veterans.

There will be resources and some free items available from the participants, such as haircuts, clothing and blankets, food, health screenings, employment counseling, housing assistance and more.

Last year, they had 78 veterans, their spouses and children and 33 service providers at the event. This year they are hoping to double those numbers.

Bravo to the Portage Post 260 to continue this event for the benefit of those who put their life on the line for our freedoms.

Last, I want to remind everyone that Saturday is also Portage Brewfest, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Founders’ Square Park, 6300 Founders Square. It’s a time of tasting many tasty craft beers and wines along with listening to music. Returning to the event will be a performance from Chad Clifford of the Crawpuppies and Front Porch Music. Tickets are $40 per adult and $10 for your designated drivers. Immediately after the tasting there will be a concert by the group by NAWTY, and it’s included in your ticket price. Bring a chair or blanket for seating on the lawn, along with money for food, merchandise, raffle, silent auction and the beer/wine garden. Leave your pets and outside food and alcohol at home. This is a rain-or-shine event, so there are no refunds under any circumstances.

All money raised for this event will go to the Portage Township YMCA and the Portage Chamber of Commerce.

Happy Labor Day, everyone.

The opinions are the writer's.