FAIRFIELD CO., OH (WCMH) -- Military veterans serve our country but some come home and have a hard time adapting to civilian life. Officials said others have lingering injuries that do not get attention.
Some of those become homeless because they need help and can’t find it, or are too proud to ask for it.
On Thursday, Fairfield County Stand Down for Veterans offered a one-stop-shop for all veterans in need.
NBC4 spoke with several military veterans who attended the event.
It is an outreach program for homeless and at-risk veterans, where they can rest, get supplies like personal hygiene items, and receive help from 40 different programs aimed towards veterans.
“I’ve been homeless off and on during different occasions,” said Anton Vrabel. “A lot of vets I’ve talked with don’t look at it as being a rough time,” he said.
Vrabel served with the Army Military Police during the Vietnam War, and said that left him with serious lasting problems.
“I came out with PTSD and other problems, including alcohol abuse,” Vrabel said.
By noon more than 130 veterans like Vrabel and Darryle Rice came to the Fairfield County fairgrounds for the event.
“A lot of these vets are homeless, and that is a sad thing you know. I’m not but a lot of them are and they depend on this once a year to get socks, shoes and the necessities,” Rice said, as he stood outside the AAA building housing part of the event.
Rice said he served with the Marines, from 1974-78 during the Vietnam era.
“We help house homeless veterans and put them back to work and find long-term apartment housing,” said Eddie Rapp, with Faith Mission of Fairfield County.
There are not simple solutions, he said, “but this event is a good starting point.”
“I suffered for 45 years until I got the proper treatment,” Vrabel said.
Officials said the idea is to thank veterans for their service and let them know someone still cares.