Community Program Reaches out to Veterans

The Gulf Coast VA’s “Summer Commitment of Service” program is joining forces with several local organizations to help veterans.
Jim Boyte is a Vietnam veteran who attended today’s event looking for some helpful information: “Well, I’m just looking into some of the benefits and things like that that have some benefits for the wife and things like that. that’s what I was looking for.”
From things like health benefits to suicide prevention, there was plenty of helpful information on hand.
Roger Sibley, with Combat Wounded Veterans of South Mississippi, said, “There’s such a need. There’s so many homeless veterans here on the coast and so many veterans that are just struggling day to day to buy food or pay their simple bills.”
For many veterans, transitioning from service to civilian life can provide new opportunity, but can also be very challenging and the dozens of non-profit community organizations at the event are providing opportunities to help the veterans get back on their feet.
“A lot of our veterans are returning with PTSD which is post-traumatic stress disorder syndrome and TBI which is traumatic brain injury. These types of injuries aren’t seen to the normal public, you might see someone on the street or know someone and just not even notice that there’s anything wrong. So, we’ve started an enrichment program through the Combat Wounded Veterans to get these guys together. We’ve done four events now and getting these guys together, they connect. They come out of their shell, are able to get together and talk, think about things and they can relate to each other,” said Sibley.
Today’s ‘Summer of Service’ open house was the first of what they hope to make a re-occurring event.

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