Veteran's conference aims to help veterans and their families - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Veteran's conference aims to help veterans and their families

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) – Veterans and military life were the topic of discussion at the first Caring for All Who Serve event Monday at Lon Morris College.

Medical and military agencies gathered to discuss the resources available to them and their families. Those families say that it's important to know where to go for help.

"It's a conference designed for caregivers to learn about military culture, to learn about traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder," says Julianne Sanford of Lone Star Military Resource Group.

"What I hope people will gain is the understanding of a military patient, an understanding of the issues the family deals with and also the injuries that occur in a combat situation and how to treat them," adds Sanford.

For the last sixteen years, Sanford has been gathering resources for servicemen and women, veterans and their families, resulting in the very first veteran's conference in East Texas.

Along with medical personnel, veterans who were medically discharged shared their story, stressing the importance of seeking help.

"On August 17 of 2004, I hit an improved explosive device, a road-side bomb that would subsequently lead to the amputation of my left leg. So one of the things I learned early is that getting mental health support and not only for me but for my family was very important," says Major Ed Pulido of the Folds of Honor Foundation.

"I think it's important that the community hear about this, because they really need to know what life is like for our veterans. It's hard enough getting out of the military, but it's even harder when you don't know who to turn to," says Jarod Myers, veteran.

Sanford says through this conference and resource guide, she hopes to see suicide numbers go down and for families to stay together.

There will be another conference Friday at the Norman Activity Center in Jacksonville. Many of the organizations from Monday's conference will be present.

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