'Veterans Stand Down' event giving back to struggling local vets
Jennifer Auh reports on the Veterans Stand Down event in Boise. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
On this Veteran's Day weekend, the Boise VA Medical Center and the Vet Center hosted a homeless veterans "Stand Down" event to help our struggling vets get back on their feet.
With the chillier temperatures, organizers said they felt it was the perfect time to reach out to those, who've served our country and are now facing many challenges.
Local veterans’ agencies came together, giving veterans the ultimate day of free gifts and services.
Hundreds came to the event, receiving massages, eye exams, dental work, flu shots and more. The longest line at the event were for new clothes. The veterans were also provided warm boots and a haircut.
Those looking for a place to live or a job were given assistance. However, not all of the veterans who attended were homeless.
Some came to inspire others. "I'm a retired air force veteran, and myself have been through homelessness about 3 to 4 times. I wanted to be here today to show other vets, you can get through it," said Crystal Dunkin.
Dunkin said she started drinking, after she left the military and even stopped showing up at her new job.
"So many of us struggle with find our purpose again, we got use to putting that uniform on. It’s like our armor. When all of a sudden you don't have that any more, you have to learn how to live all over again,” she said.
After overcoming many obstacles, Dunkin now works as a peer support specialist to help other veterans, who are going through the same thing she did.
One of the volunteers told us they're short of drivers, needed to transport disabled veterans around. If you or someone you know, would like to lend a helping hand, contact the Boise VA Medical Center's volunteer services.