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Veterans helping to rebuild Woodsboro

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Veterans often struggle to find a place in the community when coming back home after serving in the military. 

For many, just being a part of a volunteer organization that is helping those in need after Hurricane Harvey gives them an opportunity to reconnect with what it really means to actually help people. 

Veterans from all over the United States are still helping with the Hurricane Harvey clean-up effort six weeks later. 

During a time of chaos and uncertainty, veterans sprang into action to help with the aftermath of the storm.  

Dennis Wright, a volunteer from Portland, Oregon and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, may no longer be on active duty, but he's not done serving his country. 

After Harvey made landfall, Wright packed his bag and jumped on a flight to Texas to help those hit hardest in the violent storm's path. 

That place for him was Woodsboro, Texas, a small town located 40 miles from Corpus Christi with a population of 1,500, where more than half the town experienced total or near-total devastation to their homes. 

The city is applying for state grants and is working with the county to reach out to the Commission to Rebuild Texas, which oversees the response and relief effort between state and local governments. 

Wright immediately teamed up with rescue operations supported by Grunt Style, a U.S. veteran-run clothing company. The CEO of Grunt Style, Dan Alarik,Robert Link, Brian Kelly, Charles Black, Mike Smith, David Lichtenstein, Arron Ricca and others, are still on ground at the Woodsboro Family Center, which has been a hub of community activity before, during and after the storm. 

The organization is made up of mostly of veterans and first responders, which Wright said is the perfect combination. They have a special skill set that allows them to operate in challenging environments and really get a lot of hard work done. 

At the same time, the volunteering opportunity gives veterans who lead on the battlefield, a chance to lead in their communities. 

They have spent six weeks distributing food and supplies and helping residents with tree removal, placing tarps on roofs, and cleaning homes. 

Crystal DeGroot, a military-trained veterinarian, took control of animals that were abandoned, displaced or given over in Woodsboro. 

The animal are being cared for by Wags, Hope and Healing, a nonprofit rescue organization from Austin. The animals are being housed in a giant tent that had been donated for kennels and supplies at the back of the Woodsboro Family Center to await adoption. 

The animals that are not adopted will be taken to Austin to no-kill shelters where they are coupled with new owners. 

Wright, who is not planning to leave until the job is done, said one of the volunteer's biggest accomplishments is helping get  Woodsboro's high school football field ready this week, just in time to open district play and host their Homecoming game versus Agua Dulce. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Stadium.

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