As America is gearing up for a possible war with Iraq, it's a good time to remember our veterans, especially those struggling to get by. The Rock River Valley United Way is holding its annual Top of Illinois Veteran's Stand Down, a chance for vets to get some much needed help.
The two-day event is a chance for vets in need to get a variety of services including medical assistance, food, clothing and job counseling. In these tough economic times, some vets say they couldn't get help otherwise.
Robert Hodge is one of dozens of veterans looking for some help at this United Way event. He's been unemployed for months and times are tough, "This is the economy now. There are no jobs now. Four years ago there were a lot. I had two jobs but now it's a little harder,” comments Hodge.
An army veteran, Hodge says the event links him up with valuable services, "I need help a lot today to be honest. You get a lot of leads on things but you can't do it yourself. They're like a spokesperson for us.”
Organizers say their goal is to make sure veterans don't need to come to this event again next year.
"Basically what we try to do is get them jobs, housing whatever it takes to get them off the streets and out of the shelters, into a better life,” says Chairman Terrence Kinn.
Friday marks the ninth annual Top of Illinois Veteran's Stand Down, and organizers say about 100 vets will attend, over the two days.
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Facts About the United Way
To find your local United Way, visit out source: Source: http://national.unitedway.org (The United Way Web site)