Local News

Veterans helping veterans: Hundreds gather for annual Fayetteville stand down

Posted November 17, 2017 6:48 p.m. EST

— Veterans helping veterans was the spirit of the annual homeless veteran stand down in Fayetteville on Friday.

Chance Street, outside the VFW post, was closed as hundreds of veterans lined up to receive food, clothes and other important items.

Phyllis Gomez said she is thankful for the help she receives. She has lived under a bridge for an entire year.

"Clothes, dental work, haircut and shelter and housing information," she said.

Aaron Long, and his wife Inga, currently live in a tent in the woods. The couple is from Georgia and have been surprised by the outpouring of love.

"We just got into town and I'm trying to get a job and everything else," Aaron Long said.

"They give more help here pertaining to the homeless, then they do down there where we were," Inga Long said.

Volunteers stylists cut hair upstairs, and downstairs a small army of volunteers passed out hygiene items, scarfs and gloves.

"We have vendors from the Fayetteville Police Department that are giving away blankets," said Helen Nelson, post commander. "We have Black Nurses Rock that are doing blood pressure checks. We have other services like job services to help them find jobs."

No one is left hungry. Post members also grilled chicken and handed out meals to about 500 people.

Many of the volunteers said the mission to help others is personal.

"It's very personal. I love helping. I like helping others and I like giving back to the community," said hairstylist Melissa Green.