Vietnam Veterans Stand Down 2004
By Rebecca Wilkowski, Pacific
Stand Down 2004 is a weekend event held each summer to provide
the homeless veteran population (and their families) with desperately
needed services. Pacific College of Oriental Medicine will be
providing free massage and acupuncture treatments during the event
on Saturday and Sunday July 16 & 17, 2004 from 9 am to 5 pm
at San Diego High School football field located at 1405 Park Blvd.
In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to rest
and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of relative
security and safety. Today, Stand Down refers to a grassroots,
community-based intervention program designed to help the nation's
estimated 275,000 homeless veterans "combat" life on
the streets. The hand up, not a handout philosophy of Stand Down
is carried out through the work of hundred of volunteers and organizations
throughout the nation.
The concept of Stand Down, as related specifically to the homeless
veteran crisis, was the brainchild of two Vietnam Veterans, Robert
Van Keuren and Dr. Jon Natchison. The first Stand Down was held
in San Diego during the summer of 1988. The popularity of the
event has steadily grown from the original in 1988 to some 140
annually throughout the nation. It is estimated that as many as
100,000 homeless veterans have received assistance at Stand Downs.
During Stand Down, hundreds of homeless veterans are provided
with a wide range of necessities including: food; clothing; medical,
dental and vision care; showers; haircuts; legal and mental health
assistance; job counseling; housing and recovery program referral;
and most importantly, companionship and camaraderie. It is a time
for the community to connect with the homeless veteran population
and address this crisis that affects each and every town, city
and state in this country. Last year's event in San Diego drew
over 637 attendees, with massage and acupuncture being the most
requested service with 636 treatments given.
Oriental medicine is the major healthcare system for over one
quarter of the world's population, and one in ten Americans have
tried acupuncture. Cited as an effective system of healthcare
by the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization,
acupuncture and Oriental medicine are becoming more popular as
patients in increasing numbers are discovering the benefits of
Oriental medicine as their primary health care therapy.