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SAN DIEGO - More than 650 Sailors and Marines from commands throughout San Diego volunteered for the 18th Annual Veteran's Stand Down July 15 to 17 at San Diego High School.

Stand Down, organized by the Vietnam Veterans of San Diego (VVSD), is a weekend event held each summer to provide hundreds of homeless veterans with a wide range of necessities including food, clothing, medical, legal and mental health assistance, job counseling and referrals, and most importantly, companionship and camaraderie.

"The Stand-Down is for all veterans, not just Vietnam veterans," said Lt. Cmdr. Joshua A. Crowder, the military volunteer coordinator. "It is a great opportunity to provide service for those who have served their country and fallen on hard times."

Naval Base San Diego Dental Clinic's mobile unit provided dental care to hundreds of veterans.

"I feel like this is not just something I want to do, but something I have to do," said Dental Technician 3rd Class Martina Smith, who works at Naval Base San Diego's Dental Clinic. "These veterans have done so much for us, I feel proud to be able to give something back to them."

During Stand Down, the veterans were given the opportunity to relax, interact, and get to know the volunteers, while receiving much needed services.

"The most interesting thing I have experienced here is getting to meet and learn from all of these veterans," said Lance Cpl. Christopher Spencer, a motor transport mechanic at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. "I have had the chance to talk to veterans from every single war from World War II to the Persian Gulf. It has been an amazing experience."

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