Items given to Veterans at Stand Downs are donated by individuals and group charities.

Veterans are among the many Americans who are homeless this pandemic winter.

There are many reasons that Veterans and their families are living in cars or over the heating vents of the subway. It’s a fate that none of us would wish on anyone. And a struggle we all wish we could fix.

But there isn’t one easy solution. So we help when and where we can. That’s what Stand Downs are all about. The photo above is from a 2019 Stand Down.

What is a Stand Down?

In times of war, military leadership removed exhausted combat units from battle, allowing them time to rest and recover. They moved to places of relative security and safety. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms and enjoy warm meals. They received medical and dental care, mail, and enjoyed the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment.

Today, Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s homeless Veterans on any given night – “combat” – life on the streets.

Homeless Veterans come together in a single location for one to three days. VA staff and volunteers provide them the community resources they need to begin addressing their individual problems and rebuilding their lives.

In the military, Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being. Today’s Stand Down affords the same opportunity to homeless Veterans.

Collaborative events – VA – Community Based Homeless Providers – Others

Stand Downs offer medical and dental care, as well as much-needed supplies.

Here is the link to Stand Downs across America in 2021. They range from today in Arizona to September in South Carolina.

Organizers add new events regularly, so check this page often for updates.

If you would like to donate or assist, check with your local VA.

Veterans can also receive referrals to other assistance such as health care, housing solutions, employment, substance use treatment and mental health counseling. They are collaborative events, coordinated between local VA Medical Centers, other government agencies and community-based homeless service providers coordinating them.

Veterans on the receiving end are grateful and appreciative.

“I am grateful for any help that is provided to me,” said Air Force Veteran Paul. “I find myself at times just needing that extra bit to make it through the months. This is just in time.”

Various individuals and group charities the free items.

January 23 in Racine. February 13 in Cleveland. March 5 in Tuscaloosa.

Senior male having eye examBlindness from glaucoma - often prevented with early treatment
Four people at a table looking at blueprintOklahoma City VA to receive first Fisher House in the state

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6 Comments

  1. nathan j. jackson January 22, 2021 at 6:47 pm

    We both know i will be dead long before I figure any of this out. The hardest part is not going insane as I watch my life being cut very short. You get my mental daughter and her many kids when I pass. good luck, you will need it.

  2. THABET FUN January 18, 2021 at 12:19 am

    beautiful article

  3. Bryan Robinson January 16, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    As a veteran, I run a Christian faith-based clothing brand. I’d love to see where or how we can help locally.

  4. Richard Grachus January 15, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    I’m in Phoenix. I’m a vetted volunteer with tVA hospital. How can I help.

    • nathan j. jackson January 22, 2021 at 7:02 pm

      the proof is all in my records, they have everything they need if they wanted to access it. I wouldn’t know what to do from here. I’m not calling anyone, writing or even trying any more. no point. I will destroy all the work I did to my house and sell my new HVAC, before I let them take it. YOU CAN’T HAVE MY WORK ANY MORE. I did everything right. NEVER…NEVER HAVE I RECIEVED PROPER BASIC LOW COST NORMAL RUTINE MEDICAL CARE. And that is why I will die too soon. much too soon.

  5. nathan j jackson January 15, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Lately, in the last year, I notice, my friends notice, and my employers, that I am more forgetful and distracted. I don’t read and write with the same comprehension as other people. I failed every grade in school and college. State testing board said technically AND legally I could not understand the contract I had to sign to get in the military, your like a struggling 6th grader at best, he said. To write this is a struggle for me. The way I mix up dates and times when I try to tell a story became vary aware to me. I’m reminded of the UNNECESSARY ENDOSCOPY they MADE me get or ealse I wasn’t allowed to have a colonoscopy. the way they raped, molested, and torcherd me to death was way beyond anything anybody can imagine. His assistant Angie who laughed the most, is probably still freaked out. And the other girl that said, “his eyes are open”, when Parihk killed me. But not Parihk… No this was so fun to him, he met me at the sign out desk with a hand full of yellow pills and a evil smile he walked away. as i looked at the pills I said what are these for? integestion… he said. I don’t get heartburn i replied. you will oh you will, and he laughed as he went out of sight. that laugh jogged my memory. every one was laughing when they torchered me to death. my kidneys, pankrous,bladder, colon, and… All critically injuried. I was somehow internally castraded partly. that took 6 months and cost me over $50k. Still no colonoscopy and both primary care terds say nothing found. And you can literally see my deformed colon from across the street!

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