Veterans in need won’t have to wait outside for Stand Down event

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By Holly Zachariah

Justin Woodruff picked through a cardboard box stuffed with packages of socks in a back storeroom of the Volunteers of America veterans’ programs office where he works in Franklinton, shrugged and nodded for emphasis.

“These?” he said of the apparel that people would consider the most basic of cold-weather necessities. “These are one hot commodity.”

For homeless veterans, thick and warm socks can ward off frostbite and are critical for surviving a harsh winter. Yet the organizers of Central Ohio Stand Down never seem to have enough.

Underwear, hats, gloves and extra-large and XXL clothing are also in short supply each year at Central Ohio Stand Down, Franklin County’s annual event for homeless and poor veterans. And because of a move to a bigger venue this year and a relaxation of the guidelines on who can get help, organizers expect to serve even more than usual at Tuesday’s event.

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