Commander Nixon and Army Veteran Ray Jones
National Commander Dennis Nixon (left) and Army veteran Ray Jones share a laugh during the 2018 DAV Homeless Veterans Stand Down in Cold Spring, Ky.

DAV, community give homeless veterans a hand up

More than 200 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in the Greater Cincinnati area received a helping hand during the annual DAV Homeless Veterans Stand Down Oct. 5 at the national headquarters in Cold Spring, Ky.

“These men and women have served their country and defended our way of life,” said National Commander Dennis Nixon, who assisted in serving meals at the stand down. “Now it’s our turn to give back to them and help them get back on good footing so they can live the American dream.”

More than 40 agencies and organizations were on hand providing no-cost services and access to resources to address immediate and long-term needs. Veterans received free flu shots and other immunizations, haircuts, legal assistance, social services, benefits support, employment counseling, health care screenings and care bags. Several community organizations were also at the event and distributed blankets, cold-weather items and clothes.

“These types of events are extremely important,” said Vivian Hutson, former director of the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. “It’s important for the veterans to see we are here to support, and it’s important to share our community resources for all of their needs, from health care to employment counseling and other services they may need.”

“We are honored to host this event at DAV’s national headquarters,” said National Voluntary Services Director John Kleindienst. “The lifetime of support we provide at no cost to veterans and their families begins right here, and we want to make sure those who have the greatest need are able to access the critical services we offer. We have seen these events change lives in the past, and it’s our goal to positively impact more lives and families this year.”