Health Education Center Holds Summit to Support Veterans
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- The United States military is where men and women sacrifice their lives for our freedom.
"They are amazing individuals, and they go places and do things that most people can't even imagine," said Col. David Sutherland, retired U.S. Army.
After fighting in the war some military members struggle with readjusting back into civilization.
"The number one remedy for dealing with the effects of combat is feeling like you fit in," said Sutherland.
Officials say it's up to the community to help soldiers transition and reintegrate back into society.
"They need our help, they need jobs, they need welcoming," said Carol Giffin-Jeansonne, executive director of the Western Colorado Area Health Education Center.
"Encouraging community involvement and promoting community based services," said Sutherland.
Officials say more veterans have been lost to suicide since 9/11 than have been lost in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
"It's my duty to report that 18 veterans yesterday committed suicide," said Sutherland.
National experts and doctors say there are ways to get local communities to help out our veterans.
New programs like Welcome Home Montrose provide opportunities for veterans to intern at their dream jobs and work themselves back into the community.
"It's like a dream honestly," said Judie Boyce, Navy veteran.
Boyce has had two brain surgeries, and she struggles with retaining new information. Boyce says being a part of Welcome Home Montrose has helped her with her new lifestyle.
"Find your new perfection; find how you can do the best now and focus on your ability, not disability," said Boyce.
When given a chance, veterans continue to shine.
"This generation of veterans are wired to serve. They just need a little assistance during transition and reintegration and they'll thrive," said Sutherland.