Nonprofit officials hope to help veterans reintegrate into post-military lives

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People with a local nonprofit are doing their part in helping military veterans with a much-needed support system in their post-military lives.

The group holds weekly meetings every Tuesday where veterans can come and talk about whatever they are struggling with. The location’s always changing, though, because they don’t have a set place to meet. That’s why folks are invited to an event this weekend.

The Veterans Reintegration and Relaxation Center is a nonprofit organization. Officials with the group said the goal is to help veterans reintegrate with society. VR&RC Secretary David Edwards served in the Army, and he said he experienced this first hand.

“When I got out, I went through a lot of hard times,” Edwards said. “I needed somebody. I was at work at a local place and one of the guys there was like ‘Hey, I can see that you need to vent to somebody. Here’s a like-minded individual named Charles.'”

President of the VR&RC Charles Reeves is also an Army veteran and he said serving with people in need of help is why he wanted to start this group.

“I saw a need for it with the guys that I served with,” Reeves said. “They were coming back, a lot of issues were going unaddressed. So, I felt the need for me to step up and see if I can help shape some of the reintegration policies.”

The group has no permanent place to meet, so on Saturday, they are holding an event at Sikes Lake to help raise money to purchase some land to build a building to house their meetings.

“It’s a 5K fun run, so if you want to challenge yourself bring a rucksack or whatever,” Reeves said. “We should have some veterans from the local retirement homes and so we might be pushing them around.”

Edwards said it’s good to have that support system from other vets because they understand what you are going through.

“There’s a lot of individuals that we talked to that, that’s the one thing they talk about,” Edwards said. “They can’t really vent to other people and talk to them how their problems are because they have to stop and ask questions. If you haven’t served, they are going to ask questions. Us having served, we don’t have to ask questions we can just hear the story and go ‘Oh wow, yeah we understand,’ it’s a huge difference.”

Come Saturday, Edwards and Reeves hope people will help with their cause to help these veterans in need.

The event is this Saturday evening from 6—9 p.m. at Sikes Lake. There will be food, a silent auction of art created by veterans, live music, and capped off with a firework display. The fun run is free, shirts will be available for purchase to support the group’s cause. Donations are also always welcome.

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