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Local Veterans Bring New Support Group to Joplin - KOAM TV 7

Local Veterans Bring New Support Group to Joplin

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

A Joplin family hopes to reach out to local veterans. They’ve created an organization called Operation Combat Freedom.
“They instill in you, you're a soldier, you're a soldier and then when you leave what are you after that,” questions US Army veteran Jessica Thompson.
After 2 tours in Afghanistan, Thompson had a hard time adjusting to civilian life. She says her family didn't understand her struggles with PTSD and depression which is why she's happy to be a part of the new organization Operation Combat Freedom.
“They understand where I’m coming from they understand that fear and that confusion that I’m going through and they can hold my hand through it and I can relate to them,” says Thompson of Goodman.
Fellow US Army veteran Ronald Webre and his wife Adrian started the group when they couldn't find the support he needed in Joplin. They're working on finishing up their website and spreading the word that they're here to help.
Webre has already noticed a difference in her typically quiet husband.
“He has joy in his eyes and has opened up 10 years that I haven't seen him open up,” she says.
They plan to hold hunting and hiking trips and monthly dinners but their main goal is to create a network of people to rely on.
“Whether it was overseas or just being deployed here in the states we want them to be able to have that brother ship and comradery that they had and were missing,” says Webre.
Within 3 weeks of starting the group 25 veterans are already involved. They're currently working to get a vet a service dog, something Thompson says personally has been lifesaving.
“To finally have a freedom to be able to go out again and be part of life and that means a lot to me,” Thompson says of her service dog.
A way to bring veterans together to rediscover who they are.
“Now I do know. I'm a mom and I’m a veteran and I want to make other veterans feel like they're not alone,” says Thompson.

The group will hold its first event a week from Friday in Neosho. You can get in touch with the Webre’s by calling (417) 483-4764 or by visiting their website at: http://operationcombatfre.wixsite.com/ocfjoplin

 

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