A newly opened outreach center in Fitchburg, Mass., is lending a helping hand to veterans with the help of those who've been through it before.
According to the Sentinel & Enterprise, the New Patriots Veteran Outreach Center was started by a group of parishioners of the New Patriots Christian Congregation Church after plans to partner with the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center in Gardner, Mass., fell through. The parishioners – most of whom are former servicemembers – were determined to start a center of their own for veterans seeking assistance with health care, education and finances.
"It took me a long time to figure out what was going on, so if I was out there for that amount of time, I know there's a lot of other people out there that just won't discuss anything, they won't come out of that shell that they're in," John Lyle, one of the center's founding members, told the newspaper.
An Air Force veteran who served in the Vietnam War, Lyle was brought to the group through his father, Robert, a Korean War veteran. Together, they hope to reach out to former servicemembers who are either unaware of the benefits available to them or afraid to ask for help.
The news source stated that the group will hold meetings on the fourth Friday of each month at the local church, where veterans can come and receive support. Plans to move the center into its own building are currently in the works, according to the news outlet.