Stand Down event renews veterans
Comprehensive services provided in one Oregon location.
By Teresa Steinmetz and Michael Smith
For the third year, the Cascade Division’s Home Front War Relief (HFWR) Program co-led the “Veteran’s Stand Down” event Oct. 19 in Troutdale, Ore., near Portland. More than 185 veterans from all over the area received free meals, haircuts, flu shots, dental and eye exams, information from service providers and spiritual counseling.
In the military, “stand down” affords battle weary soldiers an opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being. This one-day event did the same for local veterans.
“We were able to spend the entire day with veterans at the event,” said Major Dennis Trimmer. “I know many who were very grateful about the services and goods that they were able to receive during the day.”
Trimmer and his wife, Diana, serve as chaplains at The Salvation Army Veterans and Family Center near Portland, and transported program participants to the event while Cascade Divisional Headquarters supplied 10 staff members for it.
With an estimated 107,000 homeless veterans in the United States, events like this work to reduce the amount of homelessness among them, improving the lives of those who need assistance by providing comprehensive access to services within a single location.
“This event allows homeless vets who are otherwise forgotten to feel like what [they] fought for matters,” said HFWR director Kimberley Pettina. “My goal for next year’s Stand Down is to be totally self-supporting, meaning that we will not be applying for the Department of Labor Grant. With all the support through community partners I have no doubt this will happen.”