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What is a Veterans Stand Down

In the Military the Phrase Stand Down means to go off duty or relax. This is opposite to the typical nature of the military, which is a state of readiness, often expressed as “to stand arms.” 

In the Civilian world A Veteran Stand down is refers to a grassroots program that helps homeless Veterans across the country. The 1st Veterans Stand down organized in Sand Diego in 1988 by two Vietnam Veterans Robert Van Keuren and Dr. Jon Nachison. Now Community “Stand Downs” take place in cities country wide to support ALL Veterans by providing not just basic needs, but job fairs, legal services and much more.

Battle Buddies


A free weekly event that serves veterans with no agenda. Veterans can enjoy a free lunch every Thursday and socialize with other veterans. 


Though Battle Buddies has no formal agenda, it has been successful at serving veterans in a variety of ways. Veterans are more likely to feel comfortable socializing with other veterans who "understand". This has led to many reclusive veterans to come engage and seek services. Many of the veterans who attend are either in support services or work in support services and provide a variety of options for a veteran with any need. Veterans, just like civilians, need social interaction as much as any other basic need and Battle Buddies provides that in a safe and judgement free environment. 


SOVAH is an outreach organization. This project includes traveling to homeless camps to serve or just meeting a veteran in need at their place of comfort. While we do provide services in Salem, much of our outreach exists in smaller communities that don't have access to the same services. 

Educational Gardening

Basic Needs Assistance Program

SOVAH has money set aside to assist veterans with immediate basic needs issues: groceries, bus pass, utilities, and many more. This is both a use of funds and collaboration with community partners. 


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