Veterans new and old welcomed home

Veterans new and old welcomed home

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by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 21, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 9:20 AM

BOISE -- It was a special day Saturday at the Boise VA Medical Center as hundreds gathered to give one message to our veterans: 'Welcome Home.'

"Welcoming home our veterans who have just returned, but also welcoming home all veterans," said Josh Callihan.

Callihan, with the VA Med Center, said Saturday's annual Welcome Home Event was an opportunity for veterans of all ages to bring their families, eat some food, listen to some music, and have some fun.

"We always come here, and we know so many of the people," said Gordon Williams, a Marine who was wounded in 1952 in the Korean War

Williams said the event is also about reconnecting with other veterans.

"All the veterans get together, and they discuss things," he said. "Sometimes they tell old war stories, and sometimes they don't."

Besides the camaraderie, these vets can help each other transition to life at home, and discuss all the services and benefits that can also help with that. Informational booths from the VFW, benefits offices, and more lined the parade grounds.

"There are a lot of just general benefits out there available to veterans that they just don't otherwise know about," Callihan said. "And of course, a lot of non-profit organizations that are out there to help veterans."

Russ Walker is currently serving in the Idaho Army National Guard. He knows when he gets out, he'll need some help figuring out what's out there for him.

"It can overwhelm someone, especially if you don't know who to talk to, or where to go," Walker said. "There's good resources out there for people."

"What we want to do, is be able to introduce veterans, who are maybe new to what's available to them, to the benefits and services they deserve," Callihan said.

Organizers hope the event continues to grow, and continues to help Idaho and Oregon's bravest.
     
The Oregon Elks from Burns, Oregon was the organization grilling up the food Saturday. Those volunteers often drive veterans the 180 miles to Boise for care.

If you're a veteran looking for more information on benefits and services, you can click here for more information.

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