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Veterans move from streets to new life

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Last year a local veteran was living on the streets but this year that's all changed, and he attributes it in part to an organization that this weekend is giving other homeless veterans a rest.

Ron Stocker has a story to tell.

"I was a homeless veteran for four years. I slept under a bridge," Stocker says.

But, that's not his story. It used to be, though.

Last year, being homeless was his life. When we talked to him then, he was working hard to find a way out.

"I just had enough," Stocker says.

We caught up with him a year later.  Being homeless is now only a chapter in a story that has drastically changed.

"Beautiful place, beautiful job, I got a vehicle, I'm not riding my bike or walking all the time," he says, talking about the way he is living now.

Over the last year, Operation Stand Down Huntsville and other local organizations helped him accomplish all of that. This weekend, the organization is holding its ninth Operation Stand Down event, where other homeless veterans can get a rest from the streets and help to get back on their feet.

"This is our three day annual Stand Down event where we bring the homeless veterans in here, and we feed them, clothe them," Operation Stand Down Huntsville Board Chairman Harold Stogsdill says.

The event is held at True Light Church of God in Christ in Huntsville. Veterans can get medical check-ups and dental work among other services.

Operation Stand Down Huntsville is an organization dedicated to helping homeless veterans. This event is just one of the services the organization boasts.

Stocker came to the event for four years for help and guidance. "You've got to want it," Stocker says, "You've really got to want it."

Last year, Stocker was working hard to get on his feet. This year, with the help of Operation Stand Down Huntsville and other organizations, he's done it. "I'm doing very well," Stocker says, "I'm very happy."

The Stand Down event will end on Sunday.


  • Melissa Pezza

    I have an amazing idea for the homeless in Huntsville. But I need help with organizing fund raisers and help from the city to move forward with it. I wish there was a way to get my idea presented. I just don’t know how to start.
    Could you help me?

  • styles johnson

    He says it all..’you have to want it.’ Thats the absolute frame of mind a homeless or any person in a bind to have. God bless you.

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