NewsUplifting Arizona


Nearly 1,000 veterans get help Thursday through Maricopa County's 'StandDown' event

Posted at 10:37 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 07:05:14-04

Uplifting Arizona and helping those who served our country, Valley veterans without a home or struggling got a helping hand at a special event in Phoenix Thursday.

Ray King joined the United States Army back in 1988.

"I went straight over to Germany. I got to see the Berlin Wall come down,” said King.

Getting out and finding himself at home was an adjustment.

"I am from Philadelphia. So, I went back to the neighborhood and nothing changed,” added King.

That's when the former soldier decided to make a big move.

"I did not know anything about my benefits or anything like that. Somebody called me up and said, Ray, get down here,” added King.

He's one of about 900 veterans who took part Thursday in the Maricopa County StandDown event. The event was created to bring together service providers focusing on helping local veterans.

"It just really speaks to the need that is out there that our veterans are asking for help and resources and events like this are so important to continue to have,” said Emma Muriel with the Arizona Housing Coalition.

A huge focus is on veterans currently without a home. Experts estimate the number of homeless people in Arizona's largest county has surged 35% over two years and believe veterans make up a quarter of the increase.

"You have guys who need haircuts. You have guys who need their teeth fixed,” added King. “People need help, but can't get the help. This made it easier for them."

King made the rounds seeking help to clear old vehicle registrations, find a job and get his teeth worked on.

Veterans say they appreciated the event for helping them get what they needed. But, for one veteran, he says the best part was being around other service members.

"There are some things or issues we don't know what to do with. We look forward to StandDown because there are people we see every year,” said Marine Corps Veteran Bob Dusek.