Wounded vets find help right here at home

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Many veterans returning home from war have a tough time adjusting to life outside the military. Veterans who are wounded in action sometimes find it even more difficult.

A Biloxi based non-profit organization called Combat Wounded Veterans of South Mississippi is trying to change that. The volunteers working there seek out and help veterans who are in need.

The family of John and Christ'elle Castellini was living in a mold infested mobile home, but now they live in a spacious apartment, thanks to Combat Wounded Veterans of South Mississippi. 

As you can imagine, John is very thankful.

"They've been a tremendous help as far as getting my family out of a terrible situation and giving me and my family a new start, with the new living conditions and everything and new opportunities," he explained.

The decorated Army soldier was wounded serving in Iraq, hurt in a chemical explosion while repairing a vehicle.  He also suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.

Christ'elle knew something was wrong.

"Of course, I didn't want to ask too many questions but finding out more now and understanding the pain and things over there, it's been very difficult," said Christ'elle.

Roger Sibley, a caseworker for the organization, sees the need every day.

"Trying to transition from military life to civilian life can be very difficult. There are all kinds of needs from housing to transportation to paying the bills," Sibley said.

For John Castellini, accepting this help was tough. Soldiers are taught to be prideful and fiercely independent, but when he knew it was going to help his family; it made the decision much easier.

"To see something so positive for my family, not just for myself as a benefit but to see the benefits that actually come for my family from the program as far as everything, their health, is remarkable," Castellini said.

For Sibley, the success stories like John's are also remarkable.

"It's just a great feeling. When we can help someone like John, to do something like we've done here, to get a new home, to get a fresh start, there's no feeling in the world like that," said Sibley.

It's a new world, and a new start for John and his family.

The organization is also trying to find and help purchase a reliable car for the Castellini family.

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