The Green Zone: veterans helping veterans
POSTED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 5:43pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 9:37am
Tyler , TX (KETK) — The Green Zone in Tyler is a resource center for veterans and their families. It was started in 2010, after the government decided Texas needed drop in centers for veterans. Now, around 200 people come in and out of the house a week. They play pool, work out, search for jobs, and hang out together. Tuesday through Friday they offer group sessions for singles and families, and classes to help vets get their lives on the right track.
Throughout the week you can find Johnnie Roy, Army vet, at The Green Zone shooting pool with other vets. "They have helped me a lot, without them, my life would be a shamble," said Roy. He is currently diagnosed with depression, and said it's helped him change, and conquer his fears. The assistant manager and volunteer coordinator, Michael Beck, said he sees the transformation people like Roy go through. "Its just phenomenal to watch them grow," said Beck. He said they always try to inspire hope and purpose to those who come there.
It also gives vets like Roy, a chance to share their experiences with younger vets. "This place, it gives them hope, to get to where they need to be, and it helps them understand that people care," said Roy. 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran, John Kirkpatrick, said his life has been changed in the one month he's been going. "I was kind of hesitant about coming here because I've had my own experiences with it, and then when i found out how many vets are involved with it, you find out that brotherhood is still there," said Kirkpatrick. However, its that brotherhood, that has kept him persevering. "They're are more people out there that deal with the same stuff you deal with, and you can see how they took it and see how its affected them and you can kind of put the pieces together in your life," said Kirkpatrick.
They reach out to vets in 5 east Texas counties including: Henderson, Rains, Smith, Van Zandt, and Wood. Every Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. they have group sessions helping vets with adjustment, PTSD, TBI, MST, and trauma recovery. Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. they help the spouses and families of the vets. These classes include talk about self-improvement, budgeting, computer/electronic training, resume building, and job searching.
They welcome any and all veterans, and seek volunteers. Donations are also welcomed: clothing, household items, used furniture, and linens.
The Green Zone:
- 512 W. Charnwood St Tyler, TX 75701