Each summer, the Veterans Village of San Diego stages Stand Down, a three-day event to help San Diego’s homeless veterans.

About 1,000 people show up to get haircuts, medical checkups and dental work. Some sign up for drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, and others get pending criminal charges dismissed.

CBS’s 60 Minutes visited Stand Down this summer, and this weekend aired a compelling story on the event, telling the stories of a few veterans who are trying to survive on San Diego’s streets.

Late last year I wrote about homelessness among young veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, a problem that San Diego social workers say is getting worse as more and more veterans — many still in their twenties — succumb to drug and alcohol problems and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The increase in young homeless veterans was on display at this year’s Stand Down, as 60 Minutes found. Correspondent Scott Pelley spoke to one young man thinking he was a volunteer because he was so young, but who turned out to be a homeless veteran.

Please contact Adrian Florido directly at adrian.florido@voiceofsandiego.org or at 619.325.0528 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/adrianflorido.

Adrian Florido is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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