January 30, 2023

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Improving Life better

Brooklyn group opens home to serve veterans

BROOKLYN, Mich. (WLNS) – “If you just need to be someplace safe and welcoming, this home is always yours,” said Director for the One-Stop Veterans Resources, Annie Callahan.

Callahan’s dedicated her life to supporting veterans and their mental health. This home is a part of her latest mission. She’s working to help turn this space into a one-stop resource for the people who served this country and their families.

“For those people who really don’t have enough in them right now to join a meeting or join a structured program, just come in. You want to sit inside and watch TV that’s ok by us. You want to sit on the deck and have a bagel and coffee fine by us.”

It’s an approach she says meets veterans right where they are in a comfortable environment around others who can relate to what they’re going through. Vietnam veteran Ralph Yard says he’s seen it work in his own life.

“I was kind of reluctant to even join. But once I did I jumped in with both feet because it’s a brotherhood,” Yard said.

Other veterans like Randy Evans are also jumping on board. He’s preparing to build a telehealth counseling center here where veterans can get personal support, and access to resources with the help of Lifeways in Jackson.

“I just would like to see them get that welcome home and get the services that they need to transition back into a civilian life,” said Veteran Navigator at Lifeways, Randy Evans.

The program will also include activities from kayaking to fishing to martial arts. Yards says he has a message for any veteran who doesn’t know where to turn.

“Get involved with other veterans. People who understand you. We’re always there and available. Our ears are open our shoulders are broad,” Yard said.

Callahan says seeing the veterans come together in one place gives her hope for what this space can be.

“When people see what they created. It’s beautiful,” said Callahan.

If you are a veteran or family member looking to get involved the best way is to send an email to [email protected] or call 517-960-5791