Dan Willis preaches the gospel of helping veterans just about anywhere he can, as evidenced by the story he tells about how just a few days ago a man wearing only a towel in the gym locker room had to listen to Willis’s pitch.

It’s just that important, he said.

He helps to organize Stand Down, the annual event for veterans in need held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. This year, it runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

“What they did, their service, secured our safety and allows us to live the way we do today,” Willis said. “One day of kindness isn’t too much to ask.”

Now in its 23rd year, the idea behind the event is to meet immediate needs of veterans and connect them with services.

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