September 14, 2011
Incoming Strategic Communications major Sam
Barrett and other Seattle University
students are among those driving Seattle's first large-scale event to help U.S.
military veterans experiencing homelessness. The Stand Down takes place on Sept. 15, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Seattle Central Community College.
Barrett, the Stand Down
director, said the event is expected to attract 500 veterans and their
families. Vets will be able to access services from more than 50
organizations and agencies, such as medical screenings by volunteers from the
SU School of Nursing and other medical providers; legal referrals by SU School of Law representatives and other legal service providers; access to VA Puget
Sound registration, housing and employment services; and more.
Among the 150 other
volunteers are members of Seattle U Veterans Committee, who have worked on
the organizing committee.
Housing and homelessness
providers are concerned that homelessness among returning veterans from Iraq
and Afghanistan will increase, especially among women veterans with children,
the fastest-growing homeless population. The Stand Down is an
important connection to preventive services and other solutions to family
homelessness among veterans, said Strategic Communications Professor Barry Mitzman, Director of SU's Project
on Family Homelessness.
Down gives us a great opportunity to come together and thank our
veterans," Barrett said. Barrett, who served three tours in Iraq and
one in Afghanistan, is the former president of Seattle Central's Student
Veterans Association and a new leader of the SU Veterans Committee.
"Providing these resources can help our veterans achieve what we are all
looking for -- respect, security, gainful employment, a home, a warm bed, a
meal, and the feeling that others care about them. Veterans do not want a hand
out; they did not receive them during service, and they do not want them now.
However, some veterans do need a 'hand up,' and this is what we hope to provide
on September 15."
is a military term from the Vietnam War era, which describes safe retreat units
where units returning from combat could take care of personal hygiene, get
clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and
receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment,
according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. The
coalition says that "Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers
the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of
well-being." San Diego is the oldest and largest such event in the
The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 33 undergraduate and 7 advanced degrees. The Communication Department offers degrees in Strategic Communications, Journalism, and Communication Studies.
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