CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- Valor Board held its annual Five Seasons Veterans Stand Down event at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids on Friday.
The non-profit holds the event every year on the Friday after Labor Day.
Thirty-five vendors that provide social services were there to help homeless veterans. Those included organizations on aging, veterans services, substance abuse, mental health, and legal services. There was also help to register to vote.
The group served a light continental breakfast and hot to-go lunch boxes. They gave boxes of food to about 75 veterans.
Valor Board Secretary Joe Stutler has been a homeless veteran and he now serves homeless veterans through the non-profit.
"When I first moved here, I needed assistance and I was able to get the assistance, from among other things, the Linn County Department of Veterans Affairs, and I was fortunate enough to get the assistance, get back on my feet, move forward to the point that I served on the commission overseeing that department for a while," Stutler said.
The name Stand Down comes from military parlance.
"Stand downs in the military are a way for folks to get back from the lines, breathe in, breathe out, get some rest, relaxation so that they can rejuvenate and then continue the mission. The homeless world is much the same. It's constant challenges, constant difficulties and people need a respite. They need a break," Stutler said.
Stutler says this one-stop shopping for social services is that rest for homeless veterans.
Stand Down did not take place last year because of the pandemic and this year it still caused changes. Masks were required, attendance was down from previous years and the event was more focused on homeless veterans. But, they did not turn anyone away.
Today was the 15th Stand Down event and the Valor Board prepares for it for an entire year.