The 27th annual National Stand Down for Homeless Veterans kicked off its second day by honoring the man whose sheer willpower made the event take shape.
On Saturday, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer proclaimed July 19, 2014 to be “Dr. Jon Nachison Day” to recognize the event’s co-founder.
“He represents the best of who we are as San Diegans,” Faulconer said of Nachison. “You could see the outpouring of support and the veterans that know that Dr. John does such a great job every single year.”
Since 1988, Nachison has worked with community leaders to coordinate a weekend during which homeless veterans can get meals, medical and dental care, counseling, picture IDs and other services.
“It was only your vision, your energy, your persistence and really your love for all the people who have participated over all these years that has made this possible," U.S. Congresswoman Susan Davis said to Nachison at the San Diego High School event.
Nachison, who has served as the director of the Veterans Village of San Diego for the past 27 years, provided the inspiration for the aid effort that now happens in more than 200 locations across the U.S. annually.
And after nearly three decades of dedicating his life to helping those who have served our country, Nachison is retiring this year.
The Stand Down philosophy is to give homeless veterans a hand up, not a hand out, by helping to find jobs or shelters for the future.
"We absolutely are America's Finest City, and part of the reason we are is because of how much this city loves our veterans," said Faulconer.