No Veteran Left Behind

By Kelly McCarthy

October 3, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 6:14 AM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Efforts to help transition local veterans back into a civilian lifestyle can be difficult.

The VFW in Johnson City held an information session so all needs and services for that transition can be found in one place.

It's been more than 60 years since Robert Hunt served for his country.

He comes here to help the younger Veterans and give them advice.

"When I was in the service I know what it was like, and to come back home it's a great transition, something you have to learn how to do it," said Hunt, a World War II Veteran.

"You just fit right in with them, they make you feel like a giant family," said James Pellett, an Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran.

Pellett returned from Afghanistan in 2008.

Once home, he said the hardest thing for him to do was learn how to ask for help.

"There's help everywhere, I found that out, I found that out the hard way at first," said Pellett.

"Just because he's young doesn't mean that us old guys are going to shun him away," said Vietnam Veteran Dave Shaw.

They won't shun anyone away.

Setting up information tables here on services, benefits, and other options that could help any veteran in need.

Volunteers of America had a table to talk specially to homeless vets.

A Veterans Grant Per Diem Program can provide housing for up to two years for any veteran in need

"Let's hope we can get the veterans housed somehow, get them educated, get them jobs, and maybe that will take some of the strain and stress off of them," said Shaw.

"I would definitely like to continue my education and get into college and see what kind of benefits I have with the VA."

The information sessions were open to all veterans, but the shared stories of past experiences and friendly veterans faces were at more than just one table.

"So that they know they're welcome. We want them to know that they're welcome," said Hunt.

"They don't want us to go through what they went through, they don't want us to come home and not have a welcome home," said Pellett.

A welcome home and a step in the right direction.

The event also provided clothing, and free blood pressure screenings, and had seven tables of different services available.

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