Still fighting: Veterans help other veterans still homeless in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE - The organization's slogan is an appropriate one: "We don't leave our wounded behind."
These wounded vets, however, aren't stuck overseas; they're here in Milwaukee fighting to find a sense of normalcy and build a life back home.
"I served my country, but I didn't think it would be so frustrating," Specialist Erica McKinley told TODAY'S TMJ4.
McKinley graduated from Nicolet High School and then enlisted in the army. She served for eight years, including a tour in Afghanistan.
"There were days I didn't think I would be able to talk to my children again," McKinley lamented.
When she got home, McKinley struggled to rebuild a life with her kids, and was homeless for more than a year.
That's when the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative came to help its comrade.
"They made me feel like everything was owed to me. It made me feel great," McKinley said.
Since 2008, the initiative has helped more than 1,000 veterans and their families. The organization provides health care, housing, food, clothing, toiletries and transportation.
The organization is also holding a special Memorial Day event: the inaugural “Verlo Veterans Fitness Challenge” at the Verlo Mattress Factory Store in Greenfield (6501 W. Layton Ave.) on Saturday, May 24, from Noon-3 p.m. Verlo will donate one dollar for every sit-up or push-up visitors can do, up to $2,500.