For Army veteran Taupati Pomele, his hardest battle is the ongoing fight right here at home. He says after coming back from serving in Germany during tense times in the 1970s, transitioning into everyday life was a struggle.
He became homeless and developed addictions.
"I just thank God I got off the drugs, off the alcohol because those were the things that make things difficult," said Pomele.
But, he's turning his life around. Thanks to help from local organizations at the Veterans Affairs Stand Down event.
Forty local companies along with veteran mentors came to show their support on Friday offering information on veterans housing, benefits and employment.
"They out there to reach out for you and whatever system you need, there are out there for you," said Pomele.
Organizers say the event helps our veterans get a head start. The event helps them put together resumes and interact with potential employers just like them.
Most of the organizers are veterans themselves.
"We want them to come and feel the support of the VA. We want them to know there are other veterans who have been in the same position that they have been in and have succeeded and done it," said VA Homeless Program Manager Andy Dahlburg.
"If I didn't have all these programs, I wouldn't know what to do," said Pomele. "Whether I can be able to live through the next day or if I were able. Maybe I just want to end my life."
Taupati passed out his contact information and with a fresh look hopes to hear back soon with a job offer.
Across the U.S., one out of every three homeless adults is a veteran and that number continues to grow. If you know a veteran in need of assistance, click here to get in touch with the Hawaii VA.