Ames Residents Thank Story County Veterans

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AMES, Iowa -- Residents in Ames said "Thank you" to its veterans Wednesday by throwing them a party.

Organizers hosted a Veterans Appreciation Day at Bandshell Park. They said rain or shine, they would still be outside offering a variety of services to vets.

Those included free lunch, music, haircuts, living supplies, and representatives from county, state and federal veterans groups to help the soldiers get connected with the services they need.

Organizers say for the first two years, they called this event a Homeless Veterans Stand-Down, but the name was changed to appeal to more veterans last year, and they've seen a boost in participation since.

"So when we did the Homeless Stand-Down, I think the first year we just had seven people show up. And the next year we had 12, and we went out and found some of those folks, under the bridge and here in Ames. And last year, we had 90,” said Brett McLain, director of Story County Veterans Affairs.

This was the second year it's been called Veterans Appreciation Day, but the fourth time Ames has held an event to get services to Story County vets.