Hattiesburg group helps combat veterans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hattiesburg group helps combat veterans

By Colleen Donovan - bio | email 

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - For about five years the Hattiesburg Combat Veterans Group has been meeting every Wednesday at the Lake Terrace Convention Center free of charge thanks to the efforts of both the Convention Commission and the City of Hattiesburg.

The group is a place for area veterans to share their experiences with those who understand best. TJ Gordon, a Vietnam veteran, is one of the group's members.

"Yes this is one of the things that veterans can do, we can talk to each other," said Gordon.

The Vet Center out of the Veterans Affairs Department in Jackson runs the Hattiesburg group. Donald Malin is a Veteran Outreach Specialist with the Vet Center.

Malin said, "I think the biggest issue is that they see they are not alone in the fight."

Malin said often times veterans from a combat zone have a tough time distancing themselves from that fighting when they return home. That is why the Hattiesburg group can be both supportive and provide veterans with needed information. Amanda Ellis is an Outpatient Clinic Coordinator with the VA in Jackson.

"The older veterans are able to help some of the younger ones as they are coming home to understand more about the process. About how to get in, how to get those benefits, what services are available," said Ellis.

In fact, the Combat Veterans Group hosts two sessions each Wednesday at ten AM and twelve noon to accommodate the over fifty veterans who attend meetings regularly.

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