Veteran Family Week launches in Sault Ste. Marie
Published Tuesday, September 11, 2018 2:16PM EDT
A Sault Ste. Marie group is working to help veterans in the Algoma region by providing much needed support.
Troy Bailey served for 25 years before being medically released from the military due to post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries.
He says there is a lack of services for veterans in Sault Ste. Marie, adding it took more than two years for him to find a psychologist.
"When you're in the military you're given a doctor. And when you get out, you go on a list. And most of us who get out, we have a lot of issues and it takes a while to get onto that list. Thankfully for me I got the help that I needed, but I advocated for myself. Some people don't have the ability to advocate for themselves." said Bailey.
That is one of the reasons Veteran Family Week is being launched in Sault Ste. Marie, to bring awareness to services that are available and how to access them.
Tina Thomason is a coordinator with the Veteran Family Program.
"When the community comes together and they make connections and people are working together to build a support network, it just makes it more stronger." said Thomason.
The Algoma Veterans Association is a grassroots organization run by former military members.
Frank Iezzi is one of the co-founders and says a lot of great work has been done in just a few years.
"Spouses come to me and say their husbands or wives at home have changed because of this. They're looking forward to the coffee or a night out or dinner. It's just amazing what it’s been doing." said Iezzi.
He says his organization has around 100 members, but he hopes events planned as part of Veteran Family Week can bring more former military members into the fold.
He says it is unknown how many veterans live in the Algoma region.