VA Black Hills Health Care System holds Stand Down event for veterans

Gary Piner, United States Army veteran, says "It feels like a lot of times us veterans and people that are still active duty, we're not getting appreciated."

Today, those feelings were put to rest. The Veterans Affairs Black Hills Health Care System welcomed veterans and their families to their annual Stand Down event.

Piner says, "It makes us feel better, more welcome. There's some things that some facilities can do and that other facilities can't do."

So all in one place, more than 30 community partners and more than a dozen V-A Departments joined forces to see to it that these people get the education, services, and benefits they both need and deserve.

Jamison Hild, Outreach Coordinator for the Black Hills Health Care System, says "A lot of folks fall through the cracks and we want to make sure that we allow the opportunity for them to come in and get the information that they so deserve."

Health care, free food, and hair cuts but above all, unity is what brings these veterans together.

Hild continues, "We get veterans from all walks of life coming in and you know meeting up with each other having that fellowship and having that time to chat with old friends and things like that to."

So, it's a great opportunity for these veterans to not only get services, but to see those who really support them ...

James Nathan, retired sergeant from Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom says, "to meet new veterans, talk to them ... to meet old veterans that I knew or haven't seen."

... and a chance to leave the community with a special message.

"It gives the community a chance to meet a veteran and let them know that freedom isn't free, you have to give some kind of sacrifice," Nathan continues.