RIPTA Will Be Providing Complimentary Service This Friday and Saturday Between Kennedy Plaza and Johnston War Memorial Park 


 Providence, Rhode Island, September 17, 2020 -- The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) will be providing free service to veterans participating in Operation Stand Down Rhode Island’s (OSDRI) annual service weekend on Friday, September 18, 2020 and Saturday, September 19, 2020.  This year’s event has been relocated to the Johnston War Memorial Park at 1583 Hartford Avenue in order to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. RIPTA will be providing free transportation to participants with trips running to and from Kennedy Plaza in Providence, from 8 am to 4:30 pm on both Friday and Saturday.  The trips will run at two-hour intervals using Bus Stop Y at Kennedy Plaza.


Since its inception in 1993, the annual event has provided thousands of veterans with access to important services including healthcare, dental care, employment services, legal services, social welfare benefits, housing assistance, and clothing.  This year the event will be scaled back and feature a modified version of services to include medical health screenings, flu and pneumonia shots, legal consultations, housing and employment services, and distribution of food and personal hygiene care packages.  For more details on the event and COVID-19 screening for participants, please visit


“As in the past, we are proud to be one of the community partners supporting our veterans and this event, said Scott Avedisian, RIPTA’s Chief Executive Officer.  “We know how important it is that veterans have access to this event and the many services it offers. They have served their country and it is our honor to serve them.”


Erik Wallin, Esq., Executive Director of Operation Stand Down RI, said the organization felt it was important to continue with the annual event even though some modifications were necessary due to COVID-19. “We believe the event to be such a staple in the veteran community and far too important for our struggling veterans to cancel in light of the global pandemic so we have chosen to scale it back and modify the event to ensure veterans are still able to access the most essential services available,” Wallin said.  


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only VA eligible veterans (not their dependents) will be permitted to attend this year’s Stand Down Weekend. Face coverings are required on the bus and will be provided if a participating veteran does not have one.


 Additionally, OSDRI is unable to provide overnight accommodations, however, veterans experiencing immediate homelessness will be placed into emergency housing.  Current and former service members wishing to attend must present a valid government issued ID-Card (including a VA Healthcare enrollment card) or document such as a DD-214 as proof of military service to be admitted to the grounds.  Former service members without such documentation are encouraged to contact OSDRI prior to the event and request information or assistance in obtaining such a document. 

For more information on RIPTA’s programs and services, visit


A coronavirus outbreak is hitting Vice President Mike Pence's office. At least five people, including chief of staff Marc Short have tested positive for the respiratory illness. Pence and his wife tested negative for the virus Sunday.        Americans are setting early voting records. More than 59-million people have already voted, more than a week before Election Day. That's over 42-percent of all voters in 2016. Mail-in ballots account for most of the early votes.        The Dodgers are one win away from their first World Series title in 32 years. The Dodgers got off to an early lead on the way to a 4-2 win over the Rays last night. Clayton Kershaw pitched into the sixth to pick up his second win in the Series. Game Six is Tuesday night.       A three-year-old Texas boy is dead after he accidentally shot and killed himself at his birthday party over the weekend. Authorities believe he might have picked up a hand gun that had fallen out of a relative's pocket.       NASA plans to reveal what it calls an "exciting new discovery" about the moon today. Scientists have hinted it will help support deep space exploration. NASA plans to send the first woman and a man to the moon in 2024 to help prepare for a mission to Mars by 2030.       Offset is out of police custody. TMZ reported the Migos rapper was with his wife Cardi B and her cousin Marcelo Almanzar on Saturday. Police say they pulled them over after someone waved a gun at a pro-Trump rally in Beverly Hills. Officers took Almanzar into custody for possession of a concealed weapon.