Third Annual Stand Down Brings Help and Hope for Denton's Veterans

Dozens of Denton County's homeless veterans received warm clothing and a hot meal Thursday for Denton County Veterans Coalition's third annual Stand Down.

Kenneth Jacobs was among those who went to Denton Civic Center looking for help.

"I got a problem medically," he explained to one service provider.

Jacobs was left unable to work after a motorcycle wreck 33 years ago, but was denied disability. He's been homeless now for four years -- living in shelters when he can -- but mostly, sleeping at night in a wooded area, and panhandling to help get by.

"I hate doing that," he said. "But you gotta do what you gotta do."

Denton County Veterans Coalition set a goal of not needing events like these anymore.

"It's unfortunate when you see a veteran who is struggling or has problems," said Chris Martin, a 30-year U.S. Army veteran and president of the coalition. "We all want to help them out. They all have given so much to their country. We want to help them out as much as possible."

Jacobs says he's hopeful about his own future, and appreciates the help.

"I know it's not about a hand out, it's a hand up. But if someone can help me achieve those things, more power to them," he said.

Jacobs served in the U.S. Air Force, but is not eligible to collect Social Security for another five years. He's ready to leave his current life on the streets of Denton behind.

"Just the basic comforts of life. That's all I ask for," he said.

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