Veteran stand down with a heart day

NOW: Veteran stand down with a heart day

ELKHART, Ind.-- Businesses, volunteers and community organizations all came together Saturday to help veterans in Elkhart for the veteran “Stand Down with a Heart.”

The whole point is to get local veterans the help and services they need and can’t always get.

A stand down is a term where troops are sent into a safe area away from the battle field to have a hot meal, take a shower or see a doctor or a dentist. It's a break from combat to take care of basic needs. Goodwill Industries is doing the same thing here, helping struggling veterans on the home front.

"When you finish your service its like ‘see you!’ So when I saw this I had to come and check it out," said Army veteran, Tanya Turpin.

Goodwill industries opened the doors of the disabled american veterans building in Elkhart to show taking care of vets is more than just honoring them on holidays.

“Veterans Day is important, Memorial Day. Those are days people put their flag out and say yea yea thank you for your service and put their flags out but they’re not actually helping," said Turpin.

Helping veterans with resources like health care and legal assistance, even offering a massage, is just some of the ways the group is saying thank you for your service.

“VA doesn’t cover getting dental work. So we have a dentist here that’s going to go ahead and address those issues," says Goodwill Industries Director of Career and Business, Kelly Friend. The services here are aimed towards the veteran status. It’s not the community celebrating. It’s really the veteran taking part of what they know and how they can connect that to their community," said Friend. 

“Something like this one on one. The dental, the healthcare. They have services for the homeless that is very dear to my heart," said Turpin.

“I found out about some services that I didn’t even know were possible for veterans such as hospice care. I really loved the massage and spine," said Air Force Veteran, Roz Williamson. 

Friend says the work doesn’t end there.

“Reconnect with them to make sure they still have the services they need. If they forgot something in the mass chaos of goodness, they can revisit that. To make sure there is a safe place away from the homeland, the battle field. All of the things they may be battling in the community," said Friend. 

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