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Foundation Holds "Stand Down" For Homeless Veterans

DETROIT (WWJ) - The Michigan Veterans Foundation is holding its annual Veterans "Stand Down" Saturday in Detroit.

What exactly is a Stand Down? In times of war, exhausted combat soldiers requiring brief periods to rest and recover are removed from the field of combat to a place of relative safety and security. The military term Stand Down is used for such an action.

Because homeless veterans in this country are not unlike soldiers in combat, living in the frequently hostile streets and surviving by their wits, life on the street is both dangerous and debilitating.

"Stand Down is an opportunity for veterans and homeless veterans to regroup or revitalize, get medical help, financial counseling, job counseling, benefits counseling, legal counseling and help in grooming," said Major Brian Hampton, President of Circle of Friends for American Veterans.

Adversaries of the homeless include lack of shelter, unemployment, physical and emotional disabilities, legal difficulties, substance abuse and hopelessness. These adversaries create a self-destructive cycle leading to complete withdrawal from mainstream American society.

"We have about 200,000 men and women that have served in American uniform who are on the streets tonight, probably at least 5,000 or 6,000 in Michigan. And the veteran's administration does a great job for medical help for returning veterans, but not much for homeless veterans. Only one tenth of one percent of their budget goes toward homeless veterans," Hampton said.

The event, put on by Michigan Veterans Foundation, takes place at 2770 Park Avenue, at the corner of Park Ave. and Temple Street in Detroit.

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