TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
The 11th Annual Homeless Veterans Stand Down took place Sept. 27, 2018, at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Panama City. The event provided services to veterans in need as well as connected those who have served to those who are currently serving.
“It was encouraging to see a good chunk of volunteers from the Airmen tier,” said Master Sgt. Jeffery Hunter, 325th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron first sergeant. “It’s important for folks that are new to the military to get involved with things going on in their community, not just on base.”
Hunter stated that there were over 100 volunteers from Team Tyndall, the Navy and the community who supported the event. There were 76 veterans in total who processed through the line and received some type of service.
“There were services available such as veteran affairs, the social security office, career source employment services, haircuts from Haney Technical School, dental checkup, vaccines, counselling and more,” Hunter said.
Veterans were also offered supplies such as canned food, sleeping bags, blankets and toiletries.
“I just think some of these veterans who may be homeless or have fallen on hard times deserve to feel like a normal person again,” Hunter said.
A way to help the veterans feel normal was to pair them with active duty personnel and have them share their stories and experiences with each other.
“My favorite part of today was conversing with the veterans,” said Airman 1st Class Estrella Curry, 325th Security Forces Squadron member.
Hunter also said pairing the veterans up with someone currently serving helped to reconnect them to a culture they once belonged to.
“Seeing volunteers from Tyndall and the Navy base integrating with community partners and seeing all the smiling faces shows it went well,” Hunter said.