Last Friday, January 27th, the sun came out in North County San Diego, and it especially shined down on an area called Green Oak Ranch. Green Oak hosted the three day event, North County’s 1st Annual Stand Down for North County’s homeless Veterans, Veterans in need, and their immediate dependent family members. Hundreds of homeless Veterans were provided with showers, haircuts, clothing & hygiene kits, housing & hot meals, medical and dental exams, benefits counseling, mental health counseling, housing assistance, legal assistance. and hundreds of Veterans and their families came out to support these people from the streets.
A Flyover by Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force from El Cajon was performed along with a parachutist which landed on the fields of Green Oak Ranch. Their was a MIA/POW Ceremony followed by the playing of Taps by Rick Evans was played for the crowd which resulted in tears from many in the audience.
Stand Down refers to a time when our homeless veterans can remove themselves from the combat of the streets. Stand Down is designed to create a transformaional community of participants, service providers and volunteers that is based on dignity, respect and empowerment. The three day intervention will bring a wide range of essential services to homeless veterans, while raising their morale and awakening their motivation.
About Green Oak Ranch – 1237 Green Oak Rd, Vista … Once home to the Kumeyaay and Luiseno Indian tribes, Green Oak Ranch has a rich history in the North San Diego County area. Known as ‘Camp Vista’ from 1935 to 1941, Green Oak Ranch was part of the nationwide network created as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The CCC was one of the first programs instituted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Great Depression. President Roosevelt established “Camp Vista” as a work program for unemployed young men. Later, Camp Vista played a role in the military defense effort by housing four Missouri National Guard companies who had the responsibility for patrolling the Pacific coastline from northern San Diego County to northern Los Angeles County.
In 1950, the Union Rescue Mission purchased the site and established “Green Oak Ranch” as a Christian youth camp for inner-city boys. Later in 1968 the Union Rescue Mission expanded the program to include girls. The Los Angeles Mission also included men as “Ranch Hands” which, with the Ranch’s rural setting proved highly effective in helping inner-city men break persistent alcohol addiction. In 1998, local businessman Arie de Jong purchased Green Oak Ranch and helped to establish a one-of-a-kind, collaborative Christian community