Vet event provides services to homeless
Stand down is a military term used to temporarily relieve a soldier from duty in order to rest and relax.
Many homeless veterans live on the streets in a constant state of readiness, only acting toward their next immediate need such as food or shelter.
“So, this is a day of rest for them because everyday is a day in combat,” explained Lisa Strauss, homeless program coordinator for the Grand Junction VA Medical Center.
Each year, a variety of veteran’s organizations gather at the Veterans Stand Down event to give at least one day without worry to local homeless.
More than 130 veterans and homeless enjoyed a variety of free services Friday morning at the First Congregational Church. Those services included hair cuts, flu shots, dental care, and other basic medical needs.
Over 100 volunteers and representatives from 20 local organizations came to provide information or help with the event, Strauss said.
“This community always supports this event really well,” Strauss said, “Everyone is happy to help get these guys through winter.”
Celina Kirnberger and Carmelita Martinez volunteered their time to provide 50 haircuts and beard trims . “It is just our way to give back to those that have been there for our country,” said Kirnberger. The women said the veterans were quiet but grateful for their services.
In anticipation of winter, the veterans were also given warm clothing, coats, hats and sleeping bags.
Lunch was provided by the a Veterans Fund grant, Strauss said.
“We had a great turn-out this year and we really appreciate it,” she said.