Veteran’s life changed by VFW

Veterans of Foreign Wars
Veteran’s life changed by VFW

22 veterans are lost to suicide every day.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars in Joplin provides a place where those who are active or retired in the military can cope and heal.

National Guard Veteran, Ronald Webre, was running the t-shirt sales table at the fundraiser for VFW Post 534.

This is a place he now calls his second home.

“Before I found this place, I kind of felt alone. I didn’t want to leave my house, I always stayed home. It was hard for my wife to go to work because when she wasn’t home, I really felt alone. Having this place here it really helps out a-lot.”

Like many veterans, Webre struggled with PTSD and holding down a job after returning home from Iraq.

“The smallest things would set me off and my kids, thank god, they were really understanding, but they would try to comfort me and it would kind of make me feel bad because you know I should be there for my kids… not my kids there for me.”

Other veterans were there for him too.

So now he is helping to raise money for the up keep of the Veterans of Foreign War’s building.

Post Commander Bruce Redden says they want to raise more money so they don’t have to take funds that could be going towards the veterans, to use on the building.

“Instead of spending money on the up keep from money that we get otherwise, we can spend to help veterans in need.”

All the money from the fundraiser will go into supporting the post, so they can continue to give back to the veterans of the four states area.

Redden says that they help veterans every day.

“We help all veterans that are in need, we do everything from helping them get clothes so they can get a job, to helping provide food, utilities.”

The VFW also provides a place where all veterans can come together.

“Nobody understands what a veteran goes through in combat but another veteran.”

For Webre, it has given him a place where he feels welcome and comfortable.

“Coming over here, it’s so easy to be able to talk about it and get stuff off your chest, especially when you’re having bad days, you got the comradery over here and it just makes life a lot easier.”