Volunteers Gear up to Help Struggling Veterans - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Volunteers Gear up to Help Struggling Veterans

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DOVER, Del.- Wayne Bigelow has come a long way from where he was just two years ago.

"I was living in my pickup truck," said Bigelow of Greenwood.

A decorated Desert Storm veteran, Bigelow was homeless.

"When things were at their worst, I became totally disabled. I wasn't able to work anymore and that same day I lost my wife and family," Bigelow said.

Then he found help.

Volunteers with an organization called "Veterans Stand Down" has been holding events to help homeless vets find housing, and get access to the services they need.

Volunteers are gearing up for a big day Friday, when hundreds of vets are expected to take advantage of free services, food and even a ceremony at the American Legion Post No. 2 in Dover.

Volunteer are also wrapping towels with a washcloth, body wash and deodorant and expect to hand out 250 towels.

"The idea behind it is to take care of veterans," said Joe Donofrio, spokesperson for Veterans Stand Down.

Donofrio said more than 700 veterans in Delaware are homeless.

"They're out there and you probably see them on the street and don't know it. A lot of them don't reach out for help," said Donofrio.

Bigelow did.

"The 'Home of the Brave' saved my life," he said.

A life, he said, that he is thankful to have.

"Within one day you've lost everything you know, and it wasn't a whole lot to go on, except for the good Lord himself. He put me where I needed to be and that's where I'm making it now," Bigelow said.

Making it in a world that's only getting better for him.

Bigelow says he's since found an apartment and is now closer to his six children.

The Veterans Stand Down event takes place from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the American Legion Post No 2, located at 835 Bay Road in Dover.

The event is open to all veterans.

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