WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - "It's not like they're coming here and saying,"help me, help me." They've got to be prodded a little bit and sometimes when they come they're in a desperate mode," National Homeless Vet Coordinator for the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Director of the Mary T. Klinker Vet Center in Lafayette Jim Logsdon said.
Logsdon said veterans don't always ask for help and that's why he's helping organize the second Stand Down for homeless veterans in November.
The term Stand Down is one he used when he was in combat in Vietnam.
"You come out of the field and you go to Stand Down and Stand Down is where you get your medical, you get your food, you get to kick back, you get to relax, you don't have any important duties or anything. You just kick back and relax," Logsdon said.
The event, which helped more than 250 veterans and their families last year, provides dental, medical, and occupational help to all veterans in the community who are homeless or at risk. Assistant Director of the Military Family Research Institute Marina Sternberg said only one percent of the population are veterans, but many of those veterans make up our homeless population.
"About 20 percent of the people who are homeless are veterans and it's more of a risk for women veterans. Women veterans are four times more likely to be homeless than male veterans," Sternberg said.
Sternberg pointed out at the public forum held Sunday, it's not just retired veterans who are homeless she said last year 25 active soldiers requested emergency help from local veteran organizations so they could keep their homes. She said veterans and active duty soldiers are homeless or face homelessness for various reasons.
"There's also Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI, and those are wounds you don't see. So you would see somebody who lost a limb and knew that they were impacted by war but there are a lot of invisible wounds that you don't see, but those people are just as impacted," Sternberg said.
American Legion Post 11 hosted a bike rally Sunday to raise money for the upcoming Stand Down event. Director of Legion Riders Mark Posey said he organized the ride to protect local veterans.
"The term homeless and veteran should never go together and that's what we're supporting today to make sure our veterans in our community are well taken care of," Posey said.
Jim Logsdon, who lost both legs while serving in Vietnam, said when it comes to helping local veterans it's just something he has to do.
"You've served in the military, you just keep on serving. That's just the way it is," Logsdon said.
And the way, Logsdon said, it will stay.
The Stand Down event will take place November 10th at the Tippecanoe Fairgrounds.
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