'Vets Helping Vets' Ready to Expand
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Vets Helping Vets is an organization aimed at helping veterans get back on their feet and adjusting to civilian life. They hold a food pantry every Thursday strictly for veterans.
For some veterans, the biggest challenge they face is coming home and battling what lies ahead.
Tony Nelson, a pastor and one of the CEOs for Vets Helping Vets, said, "My wife and I have cried many a tears and times of prayer because we would like to do more. It just hurts because we can't."
The first volunteer for the organization, Sue Noble, said, "We had a young veteran come in and he said being here and trying to be normal was a lot harder than being in Iraq."
Lisa Strauss, the homeless program coordinator for the VA Medical Center in Grand Junction, said, "Sometimes these veterans are not used to paying rent, so budgeting money sometimes is difficult."
The mission of Vets Helping Vets is to relieve some of those worries and get veterans back on their feet.
"Anything we can do to help fill the gap until things can be better for them, we want to do that," said Nelson.
One of the veterans at Thursday's food pantry, Lee Morris, said, "It's a godsend, it helps quite a bit. The way everything's going up, every time we turn around something costs more."
The organization is growing each and every day.
"We started out with just food. Now we have been honored, privileged and blessed to have toilet paper, paper towels, razors and so on and so forth," Nelson said.
Now, they need more space.
Nelson said, "We're under many restraints. This is a good position to be in and also a bad position to be in."
"One of the times we've went there was a two-hour wait, and that's sometimes difficult for veterans," said Strauss.
Veterans say they're grateful for the efforts.
Another veteran at the food pantry, Linda Cline, said, "First time I come they were so good to me and just made me feel like I wasn't the worst person to come and get free food, ya know?"
Although the organization lacks space, they don't lack compassion and drive to change lives.
Any veteran in need of food assistance may call Tony or Janet at 970-739-4333.
Anyone interested in donating money can make checks payable to Draw Nigh Ministries at P.O. Box 1084, Clifton, CO 81520.