During the Vietnam War, battle-stressed troops could find a safe retreat from the front lines at secure base camps. In what was called Stand Down, they would get showers, clean uniforms, hot meals, medical and dental care. The first Stand Down was organized in 1988 by a group of Vietnam Veterans in San Diego. Today, Stand Down refers to a one-day event in which community organizations and volunteers welcome veterans, most of them homeless, to provide them with some of the same basic needs.
Recently, interns from Palmer’s Florida Clinics, led by Scott Self, D.C., Assistant Director of Clinics, participated in the North Florida Veterans Stand-down in Tallahassee. The event was held at the state capitol.
Dr. Self said, “We participated in this two-day event helping over 100 homeless veterans. The event was very rewarding for me as I am a veteran. The six interns who accompanied me all felt a strong sense of fulfillment giving back to these people in need. This event is always a pleasure to work as it offers medical, dental, hearing, haircuts and numerous other benefits to those who served and sacrificed. We often see state politicians coming through the event to thank many of us for our service to the cause.”
On May 6, airmen stationed at Patrick Air Force Base with the 920th air rescue wing were treated by Patriot Project Doctors, led by Lance Armstrong, D.C. They were joined by Dr. Self and Palmer interns, all veterans themselves.
“Over 100 were treated in four hours. All were appreciative, from basic airmen to full colonels. We wish to hold this event approximately six to eight times per year. We will also continue to treat homeless veterans at Stand Down events. However those events are less frequent due to the reduction in the number of homeless veterans, which is great news,” said Dr Armstrong.