CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - An eye opening statistic from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs shows 17 veterans die every day to suicide. With that number in mind, one Heartland man is hoping to bring a veterans recovery ranch to southeast Missouri.
It was an idea from a personal experience, and now it’s turned into a growing Facebook group. It is here to show support for veterans.
“I came home from deployment in 2007 and about five years after that I had two brothers from my unit that chose suicide as a permanent option,” said Steve Hamblin, retired U.S. Marine.
Hamblin is working to help save the lives of his brothers and sisters with a Veterans Recovery Group Facebook page.
“I started it just so veterans would be able to connect with other veterans, but it became a forum for veterans to reach out for help. So, we started trying to provide help,” he said.
For veteran Clint Sollars, this group saved his life.
“I was on the brink of suicide,” Sollars said.
Sollars needed somewhere to turn after serving in the Army National Guard.
“I had accomplished to get divorced, lose a vehicle, lose my house all within about a month and a half. So, Steve helped me through a lot of that and got me in contact and some resources that could help me,” Sollars said.
Sollars said the military is very structured.
“You’re going to breakfast at 0600 and then you are going here at 0800 and you have to be at this meeting at this time. Then all of your bills and all of that is kind of taken care of for you,” he said.
And coming back home can be a shock.
“Just getting everyone integrated back into society,” he said.
And for veteran Richard Clark, he may come home, but...“We don’t always come home. We may come home, but we don’t,” said Clark.
The military is always on his mind.
“I grew up in it. I know growing up there weren’t that many groups as a kid to help my father when he got out. And for people like Steve starting this group, trying to expand it, to help our veterans and our families, that means the world to all of us,” said Clark.
Clark said sometimes it’s the little things he needed help with, like a home project. And the Veterans Recovery Group was there.
“I have bit of health issues and I needed help getting some concrete work done for a shed that I had to build that way I could put my families stuff in it,” he said.
After helping veteran after veteran, Hamblin new his goals were about to get bigger.
“I see 100 acres, I see a lake, I see fishing, I see hunting. We definitely want to have the equestrian therapy and the service dog program,” said Hamblin. “We just want to have a space for veterans that’s not specifically because they were injured and came back and go through a program. It’s gonna be available to any veteran and any veteran’s family.”
Hamblin said this is just an idea, but hopes to break ground in the next two years. He is waiting for funding.
“If you want to donate financially you can go to, www.veteransrecoverygroup.com, and definitely find us on Facebook. If you find our Facebook group and you join, then your friends see everything we post and that helps us grow and gain more exposure,” he said.
But for now, Hamblin is getting the awareness out there that this group exist, in an effort to save more lives.
“If we can do any thing to help somebody’s life be easier, then maybe suicide won’t be an option,” said Hamblin.
Hamblin said you can find the group out in the community at various events.
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