Keeping area military families stable financially and emotionally is the new mission of a local veteran who has recently served overseas.
The outreach coordinator of the Patriots and Families Program tells NewsChannel 10, hundreds of area families with soldiers serving in Iraq or Afghanistan are eligible for support.
However, he says the funds are hardly used. Veteran and Military Outreach Coordinator Justin Pillow says he has experienced first hand some of the struggles associated with returning home from war.
"I could have defiantly benefited from this. Because just from my speaking as far as self medication goes, it's very real and you don't even realize your'e doing it."
That is why he is working to get more $280,000 dollars in financial aid, counseling, legal services, child care, and employment services to soldiers in the 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.
But Pillow says some veterans are too prideful to accept assistance. "They don't seek the help they need because they don't know about it or they're proud. Which, I myself was so that's part of it. They can do it for themselves until it's a project too big and sometimes then it's too late."
And we are told helping family members with struggles related to having a loved one overseas is equally important to improve the quality of life for the veteran.
Kimber Bruns of the United Way says,"As our troops are leaving to go, salaries are being cut, you know there's a need for the family, there's counseling, some of our troops have been over three and four times."
The Patriots and Families Program is accessed by calling the United Way at 2-1-1.