Onslow County Veteran event gives resources to homeless Veterans

Onslow County veteran event gives resources to homeless veterans
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 8:03 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The American Legion Post 265 in Jacksonville hosted the annual Onslow County Veteran Stand Down Tuesday.

The event is designed to provide resources and information for homeless and low-income Veterans in the community.

This year, area Boy Scouts with Troop 81 put together 75 backpacks for the 40-60 Veterans that Veterans Services Carolinas found during, point-in-time surveys, living in homeless camps throughout Onslow County.

Troop member Aiden Ruddick organized the initiative. “I am just so passionate about helping Veterans. And one of my family members. He was one of these homeless Veterans,” said Ruddick.

“I mean I’m a retired Veteran. It really hurts my heart to see that we have Veterans out there that are homeless. It’s just awesome to see him do this for the community,” said Troop 81 Scoutmaster Scott Mastranunzio.

VFW Posts also provided information to Veterans about the PACT Act, which helps veterans who were exposed to Camp Lejeune’s toxic water, Afghanistan burn pits and Vietnam’s Agent Orange.

State VFW Commander Tim Woods attended the Stand Down. “We need to educate this area specifically this area that’s -- impacted the most and the worst -- that there are benefits and they are entitled to certain rewards. They don’t give out a helping hand, they give a help-up hand. So they get these people where they need to go to.”

“If you ever have questions because there’s a timeline right it’s imperative if you don’t understand the different concepts of what you want to do I’m not sure do I need to file a legal claim do I need to file you know through the VA we have people on site here today to answer all those questions,” added VFW Post 9133 Commander, Wendy Silvera.

Veterans also received free haircuts from students enrolled in the Craven Community College Barber school and a free lunch from Smithfield’s Barbecue.