A group designed to help Upstate veterans transition to civilian life found a new home Thursday at Spartanburg Community College.
Upstate Warrior Solution, a nonprofit organization serving area veterans and active duty military personnel, opened a new office on the first floor of the college's downtown campus. The organization works with veterans in Spartanburg, Greenville, Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties.
"Upstate Warrior Solution is excited to serve the Spartanburg warrior community and their families, applying peer-to-peer outreach methods to locate and assist our warriors," said Charlie Hall, the organization's executive director. "Upstate Warrior Solution is a clearinghouse for connecting warriors and their families to the local resource base."
Representatives of the organization presented a $16,500 check to the Spartanburg Community College Foundation to help fund a student outreach program at the campus. The money also will provide the organization with a veteran student ambassador, who will work closely with veterans looking to pursue educational opportunities.
Upstate Warrior Solution helps veterans connect with local organizations that provide support in educational opportunities, health care and employment, said Jonathan Burgess, field director of the Spartanburg office.
Burgess, a Boiling Springs High School graduate, served in the Marines. He said he struggled during his transition to civilian life while in southern California, but he said groups such as Upstate Warrior Solution helped him.
"It's a group of veterans helping other veterans," he said. "People show up, and we treat them like people."
Burgess said he hopes the whole community gets involved to help provide solutions for the issues facing local veterans.
Chris McRae, the organization's chief operations officer, said veterans can achieve great success when dedicated organizations and a collaborative community work together.
The organization's Spartanburg office will be open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday at the downtown campus of SCC. Burgess said if veterans need assistance, they are welcome at the office, or can call Upstate Warrior Solution at 864-977-1288.
"That's all they have to do, is find us, and we'll do the rest," he said.
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