Operation Stand Down event helps veterans in need - WSMV News 4

Operation Stand Down event helps veterans in need

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A big event is taking place this weekend for homeless veterans in Middle Tennessee.

Operation Stand Down is in its 21st year as a one-stop resource center that brings hundreds of volunteers and organizations together to serve those who served their country.

Through Sunday, the event will provide everything from medical screenings to legal advice for about 300 veterans.

Leaders say past events have been so successful, the number of chronically homeless vets is dwindling.

Eight hundred volunteers and 130 organizations make it happen.

"I know it's making a difference," said Daniel Ogden, with Healthcare for Homeless Vets. "We see less and less chronic homeless veterans in Davidson County and all areas of Middle Tennessee."

The last Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency census counted 67 chronically homeless vets in Nashville, but just a few years ago, there were hundreds.

So, Operation Stand Down is now tailoring more services to veterans who have housing, like Darryl Mann. He's a Navy veteran who lost his leg from complications after being injured on a ship.

On Friday, volunteers from the physical therapy assistant program at Volunteer State Community College were re-building his wobbly wheelchair.

"This is my life support. I'm independent. Everyone say, 'Why you don't get an electric chair?' But I get around better with this," Mann said.

Operation Stand-Down runs through Sunday at the old Tennessee Preparatory School gymnasium, located at 1164 Foster Ave. in Nashville. For more information, visit http://www.osdnashville.org/.

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