I would like to express my most sincere appreciation to the members of the Okaloosa Walton Homeless Veterans’ Stand Down Committee and to the more than 250 volunteers who made the ninth annual Homeless Veterans’ Stand Down the most successful Stand Down to date.

They provided unselfish, untiring and compassionate assistance to the more than 170 homeless vets/non-vets who took advantage of the services provided during the Nov. 4 Stand Down. Specifically, the efforts of Dennis Krebs, Shari Walker, Dave Middleton and Ginny Barr were most significant. The event would not have been successful without the outstanding support of our host, Striving For Perfection Ministries.

Of special mention are the contributions made by KC’s Sand Bar, Helen Back Pizza and Waffle House. KC’s provided the excellent BBQ with all the fixins for the almost 200 homeless clients, Helen Back provided their always excellent pizza for volunteers, and Waffle House provided early morning, first-rate coffee and sausage biscuits. Their donations were most definitely appreciated by all participants. Finally, the stylists at Sport Clips of Fort Walton Beach brought a smile to the faces of all the clients who received a haircut that November morning.

The Stand Down is successful strictly because the entire Okaloosa County community — to include civic, governmental, fraternal and religious organizations — come together to help those truly in need.

Many, many thanks! It couldn’t be done without you.

— William D. “Bill” Van Hoesen, chairman, Okaloosa Walton Homeless Veterans Stand Down Committee