America’s veterans face extraordinary challenges everyday in adjusting to civilian life. But a local veterans group out of Rockport is showing them that there’s always hope.
That’s because 22 veterans commit suicide everyday in America.
“Being a veteran, we’ve gone through a lot of stuff,” said Phillip Llanez, a U.S. Air Force veteran. “We’ve seen some things other people haven’t seen.”
However, Rockport Warriors United, a veterans support group, is doing something about it.
“This place is their home,” said David Jones, founder of the organization. “This is their safe place, and the more we can help, the better.”
David and his wife Tracy founded the organization last year. David says it’s already making a big difference in the lives of veterans.
“They get to come and enjoy this facility,” said Jones. “And they’re still taking a breath everyday because we answered the phone and we helped them.”
The center offers a variety of activities like fishing, kayaking, and horseback rides. But more than that, it’s a safe place for veterans.
“It gives me a place to come to, so that I can help the vets that came back from war zones to vent,” said Richard Butler, an Army veteran. “So that they (veterans) can have a better life.”
Butler started coming to the center three months ago. And he says it’s already helping him.
“It really lifted my spirits,” said Butler. “No words can describe this amazing place.”
For the Jones’, helping veterans like Butler is not only rewarding, but, “we are humbled. We are just so humbled,” said Tracy.
The group is holding a Ruck Rally on May 4 at Memorial Park in Rockport. It’s a 22-mile march for the 22 veterans who take their lives everyday.
For more information on how you can become involved or to donate, call the retreat at (361) 737-2682.