Soldiers reach out to homeless veterans

By Paula Akana
Published On: Jun 12 2013 11:09:21 AM HST

Soldiers reached out to those who served before them in honor of Pacific Army Week.

HONOLULU -

Sgt. Todd Sherman was among the active duty soldiers who were reaching out to homeless veterans in Honolulu on Tuesday.

They covered Kaka'ako and A'ala Parks searching for veterans and just being the bridge between the veterans and the services that are available.

"Just talking to a lot of them, they don't even know about the benefits they're capable of getting so it's important that we are able to come out and just inform them about what they're entitled to," said Sgt. Todd Sherman.

"Our efforts today is to do outreach such as make some contact with some vets that are in need of services, housing, employment and job placement as well as VA services and just make a contact with these other agencies that provide the services," said Macy Sevaaetasi, U.S. Vets outreach case manager.

The soldiers teamed up with the Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Vets, Institute of Human Services and the Waikiki Health Center.

The Waikiki Health Center put together hygiene kits that were given out along with sandwiches and water.

Some of those receiving help weren't even veterans.

"There's children out there.  People just like us.  We're trying to help everyone we can," said Sgt. Sherman.

Sevaaetasi says having the active duty soldiers with them makes a big difference.

"It's really helpful and I think it's going to provide a real connection to the veterans in need of services and just seeing the soldier that are taking part and just taking the initiative to be part of this effort so, that way, no soldier, no veterans are left behind," said Sevaaetasi.  "That they know once a soldier, always a soldier."

The Army says about 100 homeless veterans were helped by the soldiers on Tuesday.

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