october 19, 2008

G.I. Go Leads Annual Stand Down For Homeless Veterans

The Stand Down is an event held to give veterans without home essential items to help improve their livelihood, as well as provide opportunities for them to receive assistance from the VA. The event has been an annual tradition for over 20 years, with the Stand Down Committee having worked tirelessly over these years to help get veterans off the streets.

NEWARK, NJ - The G.I. Go Fund and the Northern New Jersey Stand Down Committee organized the annual “Stand Down” event on October 18, 2008 at the Newark Recreational Center for hundreds of homeless veterans.

The Stand Down is an event held to give veterans without home essential items to help improve their livelihood, as well as provide opportunities for them to receive assistance from the VA. The event has been an annual tradition for over 20 years, with the Stand Down Committee having worked tirelessly over these years to help get veterans off the streets.

Representing the city of Newark, G.I. Go worked with the Stand Down Committee to provide these veterans an opportunity to better their situations, both in the short and long term.

“Every year, the Stand Down Committee does tremendous work in the effort to get homeless veterans off the street,” said G.I. Go Vice President Alexander Manis. “We are glad to help out any way we can.”

Over 250 veterans attended the event looking to find new clothes to get through the cold winter season. The clothing was donated by many generous Americans who felt that it was their obligation to help these heroes who have fallen on hard times.

“So many of these guys come in with nothing, looking for the most basic things like shoes and coats, things most people in this country take for granted. Luckily, we had plenty of items to provide these veterans with, thanks in large part to the generous donations from Americans all across New Jersey and throughout the country,” said Manis.

While the event was considered a success by all involved, G.I. Go President Jack Fanous did not want the parties to rest on their laurels. He expressed the overwhelming need to continue these efforts in the future, stating that events like these need to occur with more frequency to help bring an end to veterans living on the street.

“This is perhaps the most important job that our organizations have to do when it comes to helping veterans,” said Fanous. “Let’s face it; the fact that almost a quarter of the homeless population is made of men and women who once fought for this country is nothing short of shameful. After these vets enlist as teenagers and go off to war, but when they come back, they are left in the cold, which unfortunately leads to them turning to the streets.”

“These veterans, they fought to defend our streets, not live in them,” Fanous added. “We need to do everything we can to turn it around for them.”