Challenges Veterans Face

Webster, N.Y. (WROC)- The road back home isn’t always the easiest for veterans.

Homelessness, unemployment and PTSD are some of the issues that plague returning vets. CDS Monarch’s Warrior Salute Program helps vets with mental health issues and the transition back into civilian life.

Carl Smith is an air force veteran who is apart of the program. With one week until graduation, he says Warrior Salute saved his life.

“Drinking was part of my coping skills to self medicate the symptoms. It’s more discovering who I am. How I think and everything I did, it’s just changed. Everything had to be up for review. I had to change the way I think. The way I walk. The way I sleep,” Carl Smith said.

“I think now the community is focusing more on the warrior than they are the war. You see back in Vietnam they were more concerned about the war and not supportive of the warrior that is coming home to transition, and now you see everybody focusing on, whether you agree or disagree with the war, that we can help these guys and gals transition and reintegrate,” said Tom Tartaglia, Warrior Salute Program Development Manager.

Carl isn’t the only success story. CDS Monarch’s Warrior Salute Program has a 75 percent graduation rate.

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