Wounded Veterans Gather for Orlando Conference
December 9th, 2013 | WMFE- More than 100 wounded veterans along with their families are gathering in Orlando this week to learn how to get back into the civilian workforce. The Road to Recovery conference aims to help veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Over the next four days attendees will focus on career and financial planning, rebuilding relationships and coping with PTSD.
David Walker is the CEO of the non-profit Salute to America’s Heroes Coalition, which is running the conference.
He says wounded service men and women returning from combat can have a tough time assimilating.
“They may not have gainful employment, they may have medical bills piling up over and above what the government would have paid, and then they’ve got the stress, perhaps with some of the relationships they have," says Walker.
"It gets very difficult, and that’s why the increase in the number of calls to our desk.”
Compounding the problem for veterans is the length of time they have to wait to receive benefits- in some cases up to almost a year.
Walker says calls to his organization for emergency aid to help fight evictions, repossessions and home foreclosures have been growing in the past few years.
And he says one of the biggest challenges is making sure the public doesn’t lose sight of the sacrifices veterans have made- and the skills they have to offer in civilian life.