Operation Stand Down Central Texas fights veteran homelessness

Operation Stand Down Central Texas in Killeen worked to give homeless veterans some food, clothes, and services to get them back on their feet.

KILLEEN - The fight against veteran homelessness is constant.

Saturday, Operation Stand Down tried to help the homeless in Bell County, especially veterans, one person at time.

According to EndHomelessness.org, there were an estimated 39,471 homeless veterans in January 2016.  That includes some in Bell County.

Saturday, Operation Stand Down Central Texas tried to get homelessness to stand down.

"We bring them in and provide them a hot meal, a hot shower, medical and dental screenings and clothing," OSDCT director Joann Courtland said.

This is the fourth year OSDCT has taken on the fight against veteran homelessness.  Courtland said one of the more important factors in the fight is an understanding that there is a community behind them.

"I'm hoping that they know there are people out there who care," Courtland said.  "They're in this situation for myriad reasons.  Whatever those reasons are, it doesn't matter.  They need the support and they need the help."

Volunteers were humbled.

"It was great," Carol Queen said.  "It really made me thankful for what I have.  And just being able to come out and help someone in need was the best part about it."

The event is something Army Veteran Robert W. Anderson says is needed in every community to help veterans like him, in situations like his.

"It's a great thing," Anderson said.  "It's an honor for a veteran to be able to come in and get all of this done."

It's that sense of appreciation and that drive from veterans in dire situations like his which keeps the fight alive.

OSDCT is already planning its next Stand Down, likely in April.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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