“No Veteran Left Behind” is the slogan Operation Stand Down lives by. The non-profit group helps homeless veterans in Huntsville and the surrounding area. Their goal is to assist veterans so they can be self-sustaining and re-integrate back into the community.
Operation Stand Down is a community based program that relies on people who are generous with their time, services and money. WHNT News 19 showed up with a cash surprise!
Harold ‘Santa’ Stogsdill believes in the mission of Operation Stand Down and believes the group deserves recognition.
“We know Operation Stand Down supports all veterans in this area quite well,” says Stogsdill.
For the people that lead the charge, that sometimes means working around the clock.
“That whole group works 24/7,” says Stogsdill. “They are totally dedicated to veterans.”
We met up with Stogsdill in Meridianville. Operation Stand Down doesn’t have an office. It’s one of the ways they keep costs down.
We followed him to Grandma Dear Dear’s Cornbread at the Raceway Café to surprise Sandra Childress, Vice President of Operations.
“Because of your stance and Operation Stand Down Huntsville’s stance to the veterans community and the community at large, we’re going to pay it forward to you” explained Stogsdill.
As Stogsdill counted out the cash, all $319 of it, Childress has already thought of ways to use the money to continue to pay it forward.
“We’re going to use this money to help them get back and forth to the doctor,” says Childress. “We’ll use this money to get their prescriptions and anything that they call and tell us they need. We have several right now that need their utilities paid.”
When it comes to reaching homeless vets, Childress says they go to them.
“We’ll go deep in the woods,” says Childress. “Wherever they tell us to go, that’s where we’ll go.”
When everyone works together, Childress thinks, “It’s wonderful! It’s wonderful!”
Operation Stand Down is in the process of getting ready for a big event the weekend of October 18th-20th at True Light Church of God in Christ Church in Huntsville. Donated items are still needed. Click here for more information.