SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE,Colo. --
Approximately 30 Schriever Airmen volunteered to help military veterans during the 21st annual Homeless Veteran Stand Down at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium, Colorado, Oct. 15.
Lt. Col. Michael Schriever, 2nd Space Operations Squadron director of operations and military assistance coordinator for El Paso County Homeless Veteran Coalition, said Schriever Air Force Base has supported the coalition since 2008.
According to EPCHVC, they execute their mission through three primary programs: transitional housing initiative, homeless veteran stand down and ongoing homelessness community prevention efforts.
“There are multiple things our coalition works toward, “Schriever said. “Throughout the year we offer outreach to homeless veterans or support for veterans who may be headed for homelessness. We receive a couple of grants, and we receive assistance requests from other organizations.”
During the event, veterans can get hot meals, haircuts and dental work according to Schriever.
“There was also an Army veterinarian available to take care pets, winter clothing were supplied and they can get registered up in the [Department of Veterans Affairs] database to provided further assistance,” he said.
Schriever said they gained access through the VA to the government’s surplus system of items this year.
“Our team here ordered $25,000 worth of boots, coats and winter clothing from the government surplus system and were handed out to the veterans at this year’s stand down,” he said.
Maj. Robyn Burrell, 310th Operations Group Standardization and Evaluation flight chief of standardization, and first-time volunteer, said she thinks it is important to show veterans in the community that Front Range service members care.
“My experience volunteering has been great,” she said. “I got to work with a veteran named Oscar and it’s interesting to hear his take on life.”
Events such as this provide local service members a chance to connect with their local community.
“Having the footprint of our Airmen at the event shows our willingness to be in the community and show how much we care,” he said. “Service to your country is honorable and a great thing to do, but service to your fellow person is just as honorable and important.”
In addition to providing service, Airmen also had a chance to talk with the veterans about their military experience.
Volunteers from Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command were also on site to support.
“These military veterans have knowledge and experiences to share,” Schriever said. “The difference is, they are people who need a helping hand and at some point, we all may need someone to help us out, listen, or connect with us. This program makes that possible.”
During the event a total of 169 homeless veterans and individuals in need were served and 19 participants were selected for the THI program.
For more information about EPCHVC and opportunities to volunteer visit www.epchvc.org or contact 719-200-8223.