Boots on the Ground Project gives back to veterans

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Members of the community "strapped on their boots" and gave back to veterans by dropping off shoes, coats, socks, and jeans to several businesses in Rapid City.

And many veterans received these donated items Saturday at the VFW for the "Boots on the Ground" Project.

Black Hills FOX Reporter Katrina Lim takes us there.

Veterans filled the VFW to collect warm clothes and sweet treats.

Steven Horton was one of the those vets, serving in the U.S. Army in the 80s.

He says he was living in a tent at the fairgrounds for three months before coming to the homeless shelter Cornerstone Rescue Mission, and he's grateful for the kind souls who helped with Boots on the Ground.

Army Veteran Steven Horton says, "I'm thankful to God that there are people out there with good hearts that help us out and people are there. It'd be a bad situation for a lot of people, not just myself to speak. A lot of us are also so grateful for the help that people do for us, serving free meals, a place to stay like at the Mission. The Hope Center helps out."

Cornerstone Rescue Mission teamed up with VFW Post 1273 to make this project happen.

Volunteers helped pour coffee and distribute the free items.

Cornerstone Rescue Mission Executive Director Lysa Allison says, "It's getting cold out again so the veterans need a little bit of extra clothing and things like that and they don't have to be homeless. Any veteran can come in and they've given so much to us. It's the least that we can do to ensure that they have the clothing and the footwear and the coats and hats and gloves and scarves to stay warm."

Horton says being in the military has taught him how to be flexible.

When he first got out, he was working at three different convenience stores.

Steven Horton says, "And then roated around, between three stores helping relieve people so they could get rest because I got so used to going without so little sleep, became second nature. Whenever I do find work it doesn't matter what shift it is. I automatically adapt."

Horton says he was able to find an apartment and will be moving in mid-December.

A representative from Sears was also at the event offering vets job applications for their warehouse.