GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Veteran organization groups exist all across the Upstate, but not every veteran knows where to turn to when they need help.
One local organization in Greenville County wants to make sure getting veterans the help they need is never an issue
“That was one of the interesting things that always caught me about being a veteran was when we left the military, we lost our camaraderie that we had when we were active duty,” veteran Bob Stucker said.
So Bob Stucker said he decided to do something about it.
Stucker told 7NEWS he attended a Vets Helping Vets meeting in Anderson County and was blown away at the turnout.
“Greenville has got a lot of veterans here, and we’re a larger city,” Stucker said. “We need something here.”
That’s how the Greenville chapter was born.
Stucker serves as the president.
“Some have PTSD, some just need just the camaraderie to get out of the house,” Stucker explained. “And it is just ballooned in, in ways I’ve never even dreamed, and I’m just tickled to death to be part of that.”
Stucker said Vets Helping Vets goes far beyond just support by way of camaraderie.
“We as a group have a mission to help our veterans with direct service here in the Greenville area with not only some monetary assistance but volunteerism,” he added.
Whether it’s a ride to the doctor or just a friend to sit and spend time with.
Stucker said watching veterans come out of their shells and realize they have a shoulder to lean on has made all the difference.
“They start coming to the meetings and then the stoic look goes away. We start hearing a nice story from them, we started seeing them light up,” according to Stucker. “They have a grin, they have a laugh. Then they’re participating, they’re telling us stories. They’re getting into volunteering and helping out in the community.”
That’s ultimately what got Quint Zuhlke involved.
He moved to the Chesnee area two years ago.
“January of this year, I found this group that was just starting,” Zuhlke explained. “So I came to the first meeting. Like what they wanted to do, they said they wanted to just kind of drive direct support to veterans, which is why I want to be there face to face and be able to meet other veterans.”
Now Zuhlke serves as the secretary for the Greenville chapter and said he wants to pay it forward.
“It’s to me, it feels like a thank you for what they did to allow my generation to just have a easier path in the military, and to be accepted by the public,” Zuhlke said. “You know, that wasn’t always the case where it was it we get thank yous, everywhere you go, they paved the way for that.”
He said he hopes the organization grows to see more younger veterans get involved.
Adding it starts with just showing up.
Bob Stucker and Quint Zuhlke, thank you for your service.
If you know of a veteran in need of help, click here for resources.
If you are a veteran wanting to share your story, click here.