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Review for Operation Stand Down Nashville, Inc., Nashville, TN, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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!

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Role:  Volunteer