Veterans get a helping hand

Veterans get a helping hand »Play Video
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Living the day to day takes a whole new definition for thousands of our area's veterans.

Many of them look to the government benefits for help..but it's not always enough. It's why directors organized the Veterans Stand Down event in Walla Walla.

Michael Hall answered the call of duty during the late 70s when he joined the Army.

"I wanted to stand up for my country and to fight for my country and my freedom," Hall says.

But after suffering a back injury while training for the Army Rangers, Michael became one of millions of veterans who rely on government benefits to survive.

It's why he came to the Walla Walla fairgrounds Wednesday for the Veterans Stand Down event.

"It's all bout the veterans and their needs. Community," says organizer and veteran Roxanne Hinkle.

The annual event provides a place where veterans can come take advantage of their local community giving back.

Hair cuts, VA consultations, free clothing, and even medical exams are all provided at no charge to the vets.

"Everything is free to the veterans because-- why charge? They've already paid their price, they've paid their dues, it's all about the veterans," Hinkle added.

Dozens come for a free meal or just to meet with a VA representative.
But for so many others--the stand down is a place to catch up with old brothers.

"We all have problems in life and when we have these stand downs, it's just great to talk to people, Help 'em out as much as you can. They help me out the same way," Michael says.

"PTSD is rampant. It's the number one killer of all military personnel even over all the wars, so we have to go and reach those people and let them know they're cared for," Roxanne added.

And it's events like these that help remind our veterans--they're not alone.

More than 300 veterans attended the event.

Organizers say they hope to be back next year..despite a large source of their funding being cut.