The American Red Cross Carolina Piedmont Region Services to Armed Forces joined forces with the Foothills Homeless Veteran Stand Down committee recently to hold the 3rd Annual Foothills Homeless Veterans Stand Down. As a vital partner, more than 20 Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces volunteers were available to assist Veterans in various areas.
Over 200 Foothills Homeless Veterans attended the event, held at the American Legion in Hickory, North Carolina. Throughout the day, Veterans were provided the following basic essential services in an effort to enhance their health and living conditions.
• Health screenings
• VA and Social Security benefits counseling
• Referrals to health care, housing, employment and substance abuse treatment.
The Red Cross also afforded each veteran a comfort kit containing hygiene items. The Comfort Kits are comprised of basic personal supplies people use on a daily basis – wash cloth, toothbrush and toothpaste, comb, tissues, deodorant, shave gel and a razor, shampoo, hand soap and lotion.
The Homeless Veteran Stand Down is modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment. Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being.