Veterans helping veterans

Wayne Krula

Korean War Veterans are extending helping hands to their Younger Brothers returning from the war zones. Members of the Richard Countryman Chapter in Sun Lakes, Arizona have introduced a mentoring type program called Loyal Brothers. The group’s mission statement reads, “The Loyal Brothers Program is an effort by the Korean War Veterans to help recently discharged veterans make a successful transition from military to civilian life.” Two veterans have been accepted into the program as “Younger Brothers” during the past year. One is a former marine machine gunner in Iraq; the other, has returned from Afghanistan where he was an infantry sniper.

Both veterans were referred to the Loyal Brothers in Sun Lakes either by Veteran’s Court counselors or V.A. Benefits counselors in Phoenix, who had vetted them and considered the Loyal Brothers Program appropriate for them as they and their families returned to civilian life.

Referral to the program begins a number of important steps for the Younger Brothers. Initially, Loyal Brother representatives meet with them to get further acquainted, discuss areas of need being experienced, set some goals for addressing those needs and make plans for future monthly meetings in order to determine progress or lack thereof during resumption of civilian life.

A spokesman for Loyal Brother Advocates, the program’s five member facilitative body, says that, “Thus far, our experiences in working with our Younger Brothers and their families have been challenging but encouraging. In light of feedback received from them, we believe that we have been able to provide practical assistance at a time when it was much needed.”