Veterans’ Outreach recently attended a Stand Down, also known as a resource fair for veterans. It was so well-organized, not a detail was left out in the preparations. This event was nearly a year in the making and has been going on for nearly 20 years. It was planned and executed by veterans, but we were told that the inspiration for the organizational flow came from a non-veteran that has hosted similar resource fairs for many years. The site was a beautiful event center, pristinely maintained, with a multitude of parking available.
There were dozens of VA representatives, employers, social service agencies, and vendors in attendance – all with the single goal of helping every veteran in attendance. And there were a lot of them, more than 300 veterans were served. Many types of assistance stood ready including employers offering employment, schools offering educational and skills development, food insecurity issues, warming items, health and hygiene needs, benefits assistance, housing assistance, and financial advice and help with various needs.
Every veteran was treated with respect and gratitude for their service, and a sincere desire to make a positive impact on their daily quality of life.
Veterans’ Outreach gave out small canvas totes stuffed with health and hygiene items, and household products. The totes were warmly received, but the item that really put a sparkle in their eyes was a simple magnet identifying which branch of service they served in. Something that they could wear proudly. The purpose and selflessness that brought them into serving our nation was reawakened by that simple magnet.
We are grateful to be able to participate in these events, to be a part of the solution.