Helping Homeless Veterans For The Eighth Year

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HUNTSVILLE, ALA. (WHNT) -- A Huntsville non-profit is helping a group of people who at one time, sacrificed everything.

The Harris Family Life Center at True Light Church Of God In Christ is bursting with people. They're not just any people though. They're homeless veterans. Having spent their lives helping others, now they need help.

Ron Stocker joined the Army when he turned eighteen. That decision took him to Vietnam. He says he lived his life after the Army, but now he's homeless. "I've got the determination to pick myself back up again," Stocker says.

To do that, he says Operation Stand Down is key in getting there. "With Operation Stand Down ther are so many opportunites, and doors that open, becuase when one door closes another door opens," he says.

Since Friday and until Sunday there will be a lot doors open for these veterans.

Sandra Childress is the vice president of Operation Stand Down Huntsville. That's the non-profit that puts on the event every year. "They can have service providers, and anyone that they can have come help them get off the streets," Childress says.

Through community donations the non-profit organizes essentials like food, clothes, hair cuts, and medical attention for the veterans during the three day stay.

Childress says through the years, the event has been successful. "80 percent of our veterans who come through Operation Stand Down Huntsville have gotten off the streets," Childress says.

This year Stocker is volunteering his time to help others. He says the event helped him in so many ways, he wants to give back. "I like making a difference," he says.

Coming to the event is a message Stocker wants to spread. "If you really want to make something, do it. Come to a Stand Down," Stocker says.

The event lasts until Sunday, but for those it's helped, they say the impression lasts for years. "It makes us feel wanted," Stocker says.