In addition the veterans received free legal services (including free services from Attorney’s and a Judge), transitional housing, sober living referrals, substance abuse treatment, employment & training referrals, employment workshops for resume writing, VA enrollment & assessment services, VA medical services, VA benefits counseling, new blankets, and more services and products from the many participating vendors.
The weekend was filled with entertainment, talks from elected officials, and just plain old fellowship among veterans, and community members. As a veteran myself, I truly enjoyed spending time with some of the vets talking about life in other parts of the country, and of course our shared experiences overseas.
Although the original term “Stand Down” means for military personnel to take a break from the engagement of war or conflict, and to spend some relaxing time with buddy’s, to eat, talk about back home, and other enjoyable activities. However the current version of the Homeless Veteran Stand Down was started by a group of Vietnam Veterans from the San Diego area in 1988, and has grown substantially since; to many states throughout the country. Typically VA Centers, veteran service organizations, community agencies, and organizations collaborate to sponsor these great events.
And there is no way that I will be able to mention ALL who provided their time or product – but I do want to thank everyone who contributed to this wonderful event. Special thanks go to a few who I personally know: Charlie Lonon, Michael Johnson, Barbara Calhoun, Lillie Dobson, Shea Hamilton, Jim Hester, VA Long Beach, Vietnam Veterans of America – South Bay Chapter, VFW Post 5394, KJLH & KLIQ radio stations, Compton 125 Project, Corporate Sponsors, and the many other individuals and organizations who came out and/or supported this awesome cause.
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