CSC: Helping Returning Veterans - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

CSC: Helping Returning Veterans

Posted: Updated:
With the month of May upon us, we will remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom when Memorial Day comes May 26th. Honoring our veterans is something each and every one of us should hold high on our list of priorities. As it was once stated, “War is hell,” and not just for the veterans, but for their families as well.

One Texoma woman vowed to make a difference after seeing her son change from going to war. Monica McAwley watched her son go to Iraq nearly 10 years ago. She says when he came back, something simply wasn’t right. “He was in an explosion. He was in several but he was in one that literally overturned the Humvee that killed a colleague of his and he started getting headaches that night and they found out through an E.E.G and an M.R.I. that he has a brain injury on the left side.”

Monica became certified with the Military Veteran Peer Network after that. Now she takes what she and her son, Josh, have experienced, and help others work their way through their problems.”I keep telling people that when I do something and people say ‘thank you,’ I feel like my son did it because he is the reason I’m on this journey.”

She also uses Buddy Bear. He been helping kids the same way she does for years now. “There are several kids in the community who have seen him over the years, and if I go to something they'll say ‘I saw him when I was 7 years old,’ and they'll be like 10 years old and they'll still remember him. So I think the bear has touched a lot of kids.”

When she is not helping military families and children, she reaches out and helps senior veterans try and their fears that haunt them ten years after war. “I actually enjoy working with them because I have a deeper appreciation for them.”

Monica has been reaching out to help for almost as long as she can remember. It’s she said is second nature to her. “I just really believe that if we follow our dreams that it helps us be better people with other people, and it shows them that they can follow their dreams. That's what I believe in.”

The Military Veteran Peer Network that Monica is a part of has meetings each week and gets veterans together to talk with each other about their experiences. As the name suggests, the organization adds them to a network of veterans who share some of the same scars that war can leave.

More information about the Military Veteran Peer Network can be read by clicking here.

Chris Horgen,
Newschannel 6