This past spring four members of the West Point Society of the Mid-South helped more than 500 fellow veterans from the Greater Memphis area to receive needed assistance from the Veterans Administration and more than one hundred other governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and local businesses. Each year Operation Stand Down organizers host two major events: a 5K Run and a community-wide Veteran-support event that fulfills their mantra of “Giving Our Veterans a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out.”
Veterans received a full array of medical assistance from VA counselors and medical providers, haircuts from local barbers, assistance from Disabled American Veterans to help them submit disability applications, and a variety of delicious foods, just to name a few of the support activities. The West Pointers, being quite at home with the outdoors, manned the traffic control stations and helped to direct traffic into the former Fairgrounds area where the event was held. Friend of West Point LTC (R) Rick Clausi served on the non-profit organization’s Board of Directors and helped to plan and execute this important event, which has continued to grow each year.
Photo: Seth Palmer ‘04, the Society’s Project Officer, and Tom McCann ‘86, the Society’s Treasurer
The West Point Society had also supported Operation Stand Down by participating in their annual 5K Run. The Society’s Friend of West Point and designated bag piper Rick Clausi piped the runners across and back to the finish line. The fleet-footed Charlie Smithers ’79, (Society VP) was an early finisher, beating many participants much younger. The solid stepping Rob Williamson ’73, (Society President) was proud to finish.