Sooner Stand Down Makes a Difference in Veterans' Lives
By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Many men and women who have served their country proudly find themselves on hard times, but now the servicemen and women are getting some much needed services that are really making a difference in their lives.
Veteran arrived early Thursday morning forming a long line winding into a steel building. Once inside, the vets were offered services including medical and eye exams. It's a segment of society that the Homeless Alliance says is hard to get together.
"This population, especially the literally homeless vets, are notoriously difficult to engage in services and one of the ways that we can do that is concentrating all these services together," said Dan Straughan, Homeless Alliance.
Rodney Vore is one of those vets. He is a return visitor who has made the trip many times. Vore sees those he has served with, but for those who are missing the Sooner Stand Down he said it is a lost opportunity.
"Most people don't have health deal, so they can't get their physicals," Vore said. "They're the ones who helped fight for their country so they're the ones who need to get the attention."
Catherine Brandt's shears slide over vets' heads bringing military order to some curly tops. She too has been to the Sooner Stand Down for many years and has heard a lot of stories from vets. She said her motivation for volunteering is to give back to those who have served, especially those who have fallen on hard times.
"I feel like we are all coming together and doing what we can do to help. Everybody is having a hard time. It's not just these people, its everybody," Brandt said.
Straughan said he agreed.
"Veterans that were making it OK last year, maybe a little paycheck to paycheck but making it, with the economic downturn and the rise in unemployment they may be tipping over into homelessness," Straughan said
But in the end, even with new clothes, boots or even a new pair of glasses, everyone agrees that the Sooner Stand Down is a service that will be called on again next year.
"We are all wanting to help our vets and just knowing we have that same mission will help us keep working together for this group," Straughan.