SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An event designed to lift up local Veterans took place Friday in Sioux Falls.
A long line of Veterans stretched out the doors of The Alliance, patiently waiting for an event known as Veterans Stand Down.
“Basically, it’s just a way for us to provide to the community, the Veterans in our community that may not be as fortunate or may be in need of things for winter,” Veterans Stand Down Board Member Ben Klusmann said.
It’s a one-stop shop for Vets that extends well beyond winter clothing.
“We have the VA here offering flu shots and basic checkups. We have two gentlemen that volunteered to give haircuts. We have the Department of Labor here; they’re going to be helping with employment. Volunteers of America, Dakotas Veterans Service team, the VA is here, the homeless team, I mean the list goes on and on and on,” Klusmann said.
“I think it’s a big deal to see all these groups and companies come together to give something back to the Veterans and give us some support, I really appreciate that,” Sioux Falls resident Leonard Young said.
Young served in the Marines. He’s attending Veterans Stand Down for the first time, and says the event isn’t all about things.
“I think it’s more camaraderie. Meeting new Veterans that you don’t know and just introducing yourself and just talking about your time in the service,” Young said.
Veterans Stand Down has been happening since 2000, with 123 people attending last year and the reaction is the same across the board.
“Appreciative. A lot of these guys are getting services in other areas, so this is a really good reprieve for them to come and get filled up on things that they need,” Klusmann said. “A lot of these guys just need a helping hand, and that’s exactly what we can do for them today,” Klusmann added.
The event was expecting to serve upwards of 150 Veterans.
Klusmann says any leftover clothing will be given to local organizations that work with the homeless community.