After spending five years working for the federal government then retiring from the Army after 25 years of service as Lieutenant Colonel, continuing to serve was high on my list of things to do when I retired 10 years ago in 2003. I found out about Operation Stand Down Nashville while volunteering at one of the Annual Events with Women Veterans of America Chapter 20 and after learning about the mission of serving honorably discharged veterans especially homeless veterans, I was ready to give more of my time, talent, and treasure to such a worthy organization. I've been on the board for over four years and I am the one being blessed by my association with an organization filled with dedicated veteran employees, staff, and board members providing a hand-up to our most deserving in our community. I serve on two other boards of directors and their work is very important, too but the difference we make in the lives of veterans at Operation Stand Down, Nashville is exceptional. Serving those who have already given their all to our nation is truly an honor. Our Executive Director, Bill Burleigh and our Deputy Director, Mary Ross are the most dedicated individuals I have had the privilege of serving with as a member of the board. They always but the mission and goals of OSDN first which is taking care of our veterans. This is absolutely the best non-profit anywhere working to help our veterans
Great organization serving honorably discharged veterans. Number served annually far exceeds Wounded Warrior's work. Hard working, effective, and dedicated group of individuals who for too long have operated below the radar. It's time for some well deserved public recognition.
In this day and age of so many veteran charities out there and with most of those being a cover to enrich the officers of the charity, we must be beware of who we give to. I can personally vouch for the honesty of this organization. I am not a member of this organization, but have assisted them in the past. I also have been the State Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (a veteran's organization composed of only Purple Heart Veterans) for the state of Tennessee 4 times and I raised funds for them and even assisted in improving some of their homes for the homeless veterans, both male and females. I, myself rate them as the best veteran charity in Tennessee and would even place them above the known national veteran's charities to receive any donation and assistance that a person/organization has or can do. CW3 Sid Shown, U. S. Army (Retired).
Operation Stand down performs valuable services for our homeless veterans by not only helping them with getting in off the streets, but with alcohol and drug abuse, job training and finding employment, etc. It is a fantastic organization with a wonderful leader, Bill Burleigh.
Today has been set aside as a Day to Honor Our Veterans. The article below is about our Homeless Veterans.
Tom & I spent a day at Operation Stand Down. The Veterans’ stories were very touching and filled with Hope!
“Operation Stand Down Nashville, Inc (OSDN) is the primary nonprofit resource for veterans in Middle Tennessee providing life changing social services including transitional housing, or referrals, employment readiness training and placement assistance, and coordination of the activities of other agencies in the delivery of such services.
During the week of October 12, 2012, I had the opportunity to volunteer with this three day event for veterans who are homeless. I was able to meet, talk with and photograph several of the veterans taking advantage of the services offered by a coalition of over 50 Nashville organizations. Coalition members represent over 25 community services agencies, over 25 veteran service organizations, and many local businesses. The event provides outreach, information, and a variety of social services. The event has been held annually each fall for the past 20 years.
I quickly learned that being homeless, or at risk for homelessness, can be one of the most difficult things a person can face. There are many circumstances that can lead to homelessness. Some Veterans become homeless due to a combination of housing shortages and high unemployment. Other Veterans may be dealing with painful memories or health issues and have little access to health care or support from family and friends. This may lead them to feel as though they have nowhere else to go but the streets. In some cases, what seemed like a temporary lack of a place to stay becomes permanent.
While interviewing the Veterans one theme was the same; they were proud of their service to their country. When I asked a Vietnam veteran to describe to me his service with one word, his answer was “Joyful”. Some veterans battle drug and alcohol addictions for many years. OSDN and similar facilities like Pennroyal Vet Center the newest facility in southern Kentucky, offered Joe a drug and alcohol free facility where he can get the help he needs to get his life together. He received help to get his driver’s license. He has not had them since 1984. Doug has aspirations of being a cook.
Sitting down with Bill, a Korean War Veteran from Knoxville, I heard firsthand how his temporary circumstance lead him to be homeless, but knowing all of Bill’s story makes you want to reach out and help him to help himself. OSDN helped him to move to Nashville from Knoxville so he could be close to his son. OSDN gave him a safe place to stay and access to computers where he was able to apply and land a job. Bill now has a job and the self confidence for his future.
Help our Veterans, who have sacrificed so much for us!!! Our Freedom!
I am the wife of a soldier and a mother of a soldier and know first hand the sacrifices that our veterans have made for the citizens of the United States of America. Sometimes veterans need a "hand up". That is what Operation Stand Down provides. The organization is very professionally and efficiently ran by a team of veterans. The services Operation Stand Down provides is making a tremendous impact on veterans that need assistance. I am honored to give my time and resources to assist this organization.
I came to this organization in 1999 as a client, when they helped me through a dark period of my life. I felt so grateful to this organization that I served on the Board for the next ten years. Now to further give back to OSDN's mission and our military veterans, I have been employed by them for over four years. OSDN has helped many thousands of veterans through difficult times in their lives. Thanks Richard
As a retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant and Veteran Service Officer for a large county, I can say that Operation Stand Down Nashville Inc is vital to the veteran community. Without them, countless veterans would be on the street with no hope. They are an effectively run organization that provides housing, work opportunities and all types of support for veterans in need. They use their resources wisely and their professionalism is evident in all they do. Please support their endeavors.
I love Operation Stand Nashville, Ink. over the years it has helped our homeless veterans to gain more respect for themselves. They supply our veterans with free haircuts, doctors visits, Dentist visits, food, clothes,and other items. They help to find home, jobs. This group in Nashville works very hard for our HEROs who have done so much for us. Thank you Operation Stand Down Nashville, and thank you for taking such good care of our HEROS!
As a veteran of 21 years active duty, when I retired I was lost and was missing something in my life. After volunteering at one of thenStand Down Events, I was hooked. I volunteered for years with OSDN, and served on the Board of Directors for about 5 years. After 10 years working in the corporate world, I took a significant cut in pay to work for this organization. It was the best decision I made since leaving the Army. Miracles happen every day.
I was present at their first event in 1992. It was designed to help veterans who would not go to the VA. Physical and mental health issues were addressed at that event as well as assistance with clothing, food, shelter, job placement, legal issues and more. Over the years this veteran outreach has grown to include a permanent home, paid professional staff, its own thrift store and expanded services at the annual Operation Base Camp event. This one organization provides more direct assistance to local veterans than all the other veteran service organizations combine. They are worthy of the highest rating which can be given.
I've witnessed homeless veterans being given clothes, shoes, coats, health check-ups, dental check-ups, shower facilities, beds. It has been my pleasure to help serve dinners to over 400 veterans, to sit with many, to listen to them, to encourage them, to give them a smile. Operation Stand Down Nashville is a very caring and organized operation, and has been for more years than I've been a volunteer.
There are many organizations that claim to assist Veterans in their time of need, and most do a good job. But Operation Stand Down Nashville goes way above and beyond that standard. Partnering with many other agencies in the Nashville area, including the VA Hospital, the VA Regional Office and other local charities and non-profits, the Veteran who comes in for service at OSDN is referred to whatever agency or agencies are suited to help the person the best. The most important and unique thing is that once the process starts, OSDN tracks the progress, following up throughout the process. They give the Veteran positive motivation to continue forward and that helps to ensure the greatest chance of being successful. The staff at OSDN are mostly Veterans, so it's Veterans assisting Veterans. It never ceases to amaze me how the staff performs their duties and how much they really do care for the Veterans they serve.
OSDN is a great organization that gives back to the veteran community in so many ways. They don't give "hand outs" but rather "hands up" to help veterans get back on their feet!
I work with Operation Stand Down every year that I can for the three day event. I serve meals to the Vets. That is the most rewarding weekend of the year for me. It is well staffedand well organized. If you ever get the chance to come to the event please do. It is so awesome. Come see the volunteers in action. The hair cut tent was the most fun. It is lively and this year had music playing. It was awesome. Many professionals give their time and I know it has to be rewarding and heart warming. I look forward to many more years feeding the Vererans! Keep up the good work!
Last I heard, Operation Stand Down Nashville spent $.90 of every dollar donated to the Veteran they serve. I don't know of many other non-profits, locally or nationally that is as efficient. The 20th Annual Stand Down Event was a model for Stand Downs in any city, hopefully to be copied by other missions to assist all populations in need of services.
I assisted in the registration of Homeless Veterans at the annual Operation Stand Down event in 2011 and was impressed with the care and assistance provided to needy Veterans during this event. James Howard
I am with the Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs in Nashville, TN. I work closely with Bill and his staff and applaud the good work they do for our veterans who are down on their luck. I have worked with them for years during their big OSD usually in October. They make every effort to assist veterans with anything they need to help get them back on their feet.
OSDN is one of the most well-run organizations I have ever had the privilege of working with. I have spent the last 6 years involved with OSDN providing volunteer mediator/legal-related services to their constituents. Bill Burleigh, his managers and staff are second-to-none in their commitment to making an immediate difference in the lives of each Veteran they meet. As a member of other VSO's I can confidently assert that OSDN makes a big difference in many Veterans' lives each day of the week. OSDN is worthy of any and all support available to them.
Operation Stand Down is the best organization I am aware of for helping homeless veterans and other veterans in need. This organization consistently year after year continues to do excellent work in the greater Nashville area. As I have also done previously, Operation Stand Down has my highest recommendation. --Richard Aberdeen; Freedom Tracks Records, Nashville, Tennessee
Bill Burleigh of Operation Stand Down Nashville was more than willing to give me a personal tour of the facilities. Having lived in Nashville approximately six years now, it has been my consistent experience that Operation Stand Down Nashville is one of the best non-profits in the area. They make every effort to help homeless and impoverished veterans in need and I consider this organization to be a great blessing for the general Nashville area and community.