Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Tennessee Reserve, Guard Assist Needy Veterans

Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Tennessee Reserve, Guard Assist Needy Veterans

Article excerpt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Because all members of the military, past and present, have a unique and shared experience, Soldiers currently serving in the Tennessee State Guard, Tennessee Army National Guard and the Army Reserve volunteered to serve in Operation Stand Down. This program for assisting needy veterans was held at the Sidco Drive National Guard Armory in Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 14-16, 2005.

The program was designed to lend a helping hand to veterans in economic distress from the Nashville area. Many veterans at the event had multiple needs, from homelessness and joblessness to medical and legal issues, according to Bill Burleigh, who is executive director of Operation Stand Down and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel.

Volunteers and workers from more than 100 organizations assisted veterans with donations, as well as counseling, for housing, employment, legal services, medical services and substance abuse treatment. Along with these services, veterans received hot meals prepared by volunteers. The National Guard provided tents, cots and sleeping bags for the veterans.

Army Reserve Soldiers from the 450th Military Police (MP) Company and 304th MP Battalion volunteered to assist with security at the event.

The MPs were stationed at posts around the site, where they could assist veterans with directions and ensure that everyone stayed on the right track. There was little concern that anyone would get out of hand - the MPs served mainly as a deterrent.

"We're here to make sure nobody is getting into fights or trying to jump the fence. We're here to help if anyone gets sick," said SPC Kerry Nitzsche, an MP with the 450th. …

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