A group of brave souls at a local Veterans Post layered up and camped out for more than 18 hours, by choice. As our Maria Valvanis explains, the second annual 'freeze out', was to raise awareness for those veterans that sleep outside every night, because they have no choice.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- There are many ways to describe a group of people who opt to spend hours outside in below freezing temps.
"Those crazy fools," is how Carrie Farley jokingly described them.
But no matter how cold it was outside, those crazy fools had their warm hearts set on sending on a message.
"That was the focus of the event, to bring awareness to the homeless, and homeless veterans in particular," said Jim Ader, Commander of the Sheehy Palmer Command Post 6776.
So with little more than their noses showing, and fire pits and sleeping bags to keep them somewhat warm, Saturday night turned into Sunday morning. And for some participants, an unfortunate reality made the freeze out, a little less of a culture shock.
"I spent three to four months sleeping in the back of my truck," said Bar Porter.
After serving nearly two decades in the Marine Core, Bar Porter found himself homeless.
Now he wants to be part of the change in how veterans are treated.
Porter said, "I don't think that it's we're able to survive, it's that we see that nobody is going to help us."
But help for the freeze out, came in all forms.
"I'm just here volunteering to organize it so it isn't a big mess," said Farley.
Organizing the piles upon piles of clothes donated for veterans, an act of kindness Carrie Farley hopes someone would have done for her son.
Farley said, "My son was killed in Afghanistan, he was explosive disposable.
A truck load of donated goods came all the wa y from Vermont.
"Suit jackets, clothes, boots, socks," said Monty Springer.
50 percent of all homeless are veterans, and believers say it's teamwork like this that will help put an end to the star-crossed epidemic.
Ader said, "My dream is that the last Saturday of every January every post every where they also freeze out and we can all do it together and get an idea how big the problem is and really together united get a handle on it."