Salute to Veterans: Life After Service

Only On 7

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Many Vietnam veterans have been right in the center of the movement to help other veterans. And they’ve been at it for decades.

But 7NEWS Anchor Amy Wood found out there’s a shift underway.

Vietnam left wounds for Craig Burnette, a platoon leader who fought for the survival of his men in the jungle. He now enters his fourth decade of keeping men and women who served alive on local soil.

He’s worked with thousands of veterans.

“I can’t kick the crack. Or I have to have my six pack at night, it’s the only way I can sleep,” Burnette said. “I mean I have heard thousands of those stories.”

Burnette spent decades working as a VA psychologist, helping veterans battle the scars you cannot see. When he got back to Spartanburg, he realized homeless veterans needed some serious help.

He helped organize The Upstate Stand Down. It’s a one stop event to connect homeless veterans with services that can help turn things around.

Burnette, now 75-years-old, has been working with Iraq war veteran, Charlie Hall, for more than a decade. Burnette spent mentoring and encouraging Hall’s vision for Upstate Warrior Solution.

As a marine, Hall spent two years blowing things up in Iraq. He was part of an engineering team that tried to keep the insurgents from reaching our troops.

Once home, a 2008 recession-inspired job helping wounded marines turned into Hall’s new life mission.

“There’s a host of resources in the community at their fingertips, but these young veterans don’t know how to access those and leverage them,” Hall said.

If you are a veteran who needs help or you know one, reach out to

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