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During pandemic, Central Coast groups find safe ways to honor service members on Veterans Day

Posted at 6:15 PM, Nov 11, 2020

Across the Central Coast, organizations found new ways to honor our servicemen and women this Veterans Day while accommodating social distancing guidelines.

Santa Barbara County 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino explained that the county had to postpone its annual Step Up event for veterans this year.

“Because of the pandemic it is not a good idea to bring everyone together, but we obviously wanted to show our veterans that we still care about them, we still love them, we still appreciate their service and so we tried to put together something that is pandemic light.. and this is what it was, a drive-thru event,” Lavagnino said.

Instead, the county hosted a "Salute to Veterans" grab-and-go event in Santa Maria Wednesday.

Veterans were able to drive-through and receive a grab-and-go bag filled with toiletries, sunglasses, gift cards, and other community resources.

Salute to Veterans volunteer and military mother Monica Diaz says veteran support must continue.

“Anything that we can do to step up to the plate and help them, it is our responsibility,” she said.

The annual Veterans Day event in Pismo Beach was hosted virtually this year, giving locals the chance to join in over YouTube and Facebook.

"The desire to serve their country, the courage it takes, the commitment, to want to provide that freedom or have that freedom for everyone else that lives in our world in our country is huge,” Diaz added.

For more information on Santa Barbara County's Salute to Veterans and Stand Down you can visit their website at https://www.sbcountystanddown.com/index.html.