MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Hundreds of veterans showed up for the ‘Stand Down’ event Friday at the VA Clinic off of Farrow Parkway on Airpark Drive in Myrtle Beach.
The VA teamed up with a non-profit organization who hosts these events every other month to help veterans get the resources they need.
The non-profit group stands for Veterans Welcome Home and Resource Center, and it got started in 2009. It now has a location in Little River where 12 veterans live.
The Stand Down event started Fridy morning at 10 a.m. and went until 2 p.m.
Scott Dulebohn, the Executive Director, for the non-profit said this is always their main event but have not been able to have it at this location since before COVID.
“Probably see 200 to 400 hundred veterans out here today,” Dulebohn said. “We give them clothes, shoes, and they get to meet all these other vendors that are out here that have resources for veterans.”
Dulebohn added that food, counselors, rent help, doctors, and flu shots are available to the veterans.
He also said the idea behind a ‘Stand Down’ started in Vietnam. Dulebohn said they would shut the bases down and it was held as a recouping day so soldiers could go out and get replenished.
“We adopted that,” Dulebohn said. “We shut our offices down and we bring all of our volunteers and employees out and we just give the day back to them and make sure they have all the items they need.”
Donald Martin said it takes a lot of volunteers to run the event.
“It’s a lot of work so I just think this is the most impressive thing I’ve seen in a long time,” he said.
One retired Marine Corp vet , Jimmy Pershade, received his orange heart medal from serving in Vietnam where he was exposed to Agent Orange Dioxin.
“I’m happy to be alive and walk on top of the ground,” Pershade said. “You know every day above ground is a wonderful day and I’m just happy I made it back home.”
Pershade said the event is special whether you’re a female or male veteran.
“It brings a whole lot of us together,” he said. “And we get together and reminisce, you know, talk about good times and bad times.”
Other ‘Stand Down’ events the non-profit has throughout the year art at local homeless hotspots. They load supplies up in their trailers and go help those in need.
For future Stand Down events, you can help donate clothes or money at VWHRC.ORG.
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Jackie LiBrizzi is a multimedia journalist at News13. Jackie is originally from Hamilton, New Jersey, and was raised in Piedmont, South Carolina. Jackie joined the News13 team in June 2023 after she graduated as a student-athlete from the University of South Carolina in May 2023. Follow Jackie on X, formerly Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and read more of her work here.