From serving their country to serving their community: program h - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

From serving their country to serving their community: program helps veterans reintegrate back into society

Posted: Updated:
NEWMAN LAKE, Wash. -

For so many veterans, the road back to a normal life is a long and difficult one. Even in their own home, they can feel like they don't belong.

But the Veterans Community Response in Spokane is helping those who served adapt.

“Our goal is to help combat veterans reintegrate and find satisfying and productive post-combat lives,” said VCR President, Darrin Coldiron. “When we send people off to battle, that's not the responsibility of the government to make sure our brothers our warriors are coming home. That's the responsibility of the entire community.”

Coldiron took on that task a decade ago after one of his close friends lost his leg from stepping on a mine.

“In the process of helping him rehabilitate and getting him some of the things he needed, I realized there wasn’t much,” said Coldiron. “I actually got asked to do something for combat vets and after researching things about the Spokane Veterans Center I went in there and that's how this whole process began.”

The VCR started with a welcome home celebration in2009 and quickly morphed into multi-day retreats and opportunities to provide service.

In 2015, the group traveled to Central Washington to help communities in Okanogan County recovery and rebuild following the devastating wildfires.

“It’s been rewarding,” said veteran Michael Patterson, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It’s good to be with vets. It’s part of my healing process as well as there’s.”

As part of their service to the community, the VCR is helping elderly and disabled people create defensible space around their homes in preparation for wildfire season.

“It’s helped me a lot in that it gives me a purpose in life again,” said veteran Chris Mastel, who did two tours in Iraq. “When I joined the service it was all about serving and giving back to the community, and when I got out there was a big disconnect as far as what's next, what am I going to do now?”

The opportunity to serve and experience brotherhood has helped veterans like Patterson and Mastel transition back into society.

If you’d like to learn more about the Veterans Community Response, click here.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 22-year-old Sandpoint man dies in Clayton 395 crash

    22-year-old Sandpoint man dies in Clayton 395 crash

    Saturday, July 21 2018 1:58 AM EDT2018-07-21 05:58:53 GMT

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Washington State Patrols responded to a fatal crash in Stevens County Friday evening. On SR-395 in Clayton near Mile Post 185, a vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head on with another car, killing the driver. The causing driver who was transported to the hospital is in custody for vehicular homicide. There were no other occupants of either vehicle. 

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Washington State Patrols responded to a fatal crash in Stevens County Friday evening. On SR-395 in Clayton near Mile Post 185, a vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head on with another car, killing the driver. The causing driver who was transported to the hospital is in custody for vehicular homicide. There were no other occupants of either vehicle. 

    >>
  • Amazon.com to bring more than 1,500 jobs to Spokane

    Amazon.com to bring more than 1,500 jobs to Spokane

    Friday, July 20 2018 8:37 PM EDT2018-07-21 00:37:29 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Seattle-based Amazon.com is opening a fulfillment center in Spokane, promising more than 1,500 full-time jobs.    The company announced on Friday that it was opening its first fulfillment center in eastern Washington.    The 600,000-square foot center will be built near the Spokane International Airport.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Seattle-based Amazon.com is opening a fulfillment center in Spokane, promising more than 1,500 full-time jobs.    The company announced on Friday that it was opening its first fulfillment center in eastern Washington.    The 600,000-square foot center will be built near the Spokane International Airport.

    >>
  • Spokane motorcyclist dies in DUI crash near Reardan

    Spokane motorcyclist dies in DUI crash near Reardan

    Saturday, July 21 2018 1:47 PM EDT2018-07-21 17:47:50 GMT

    REARDAN, Wash. -  A Spokane man died after crashing his motorcycle on Highway 2 near Reardan in a DUI incident Friday night. Gregory Sutton, 35 of Spokane, was traveling westbound on Highway 2 on his Honda motorcycle when he left the roadway and was ejected from the bike, landing in a ditch near Mile Post 262 in Lincoln County.

    >>

    REARDAN, Wash. -  A Spokane man died after crashing his motorcycle on Highway 2 near Reardan in a DUI incident Friday night. Gregory Sutton, 35 of Spokane, was traveling westbound on Highway 2 on his Honda motorcycle when he left the roadway and was ejected from the bike, landing in a ditch near Mile Post 262 in Lincoln County.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Man who took hostages at supermarket in custody; 1 person killed

    Man who took hostages at supermarket in custody; 1 person killed

    Saturday, July 21 2018 10:51 PM EDT2018-07-22 02:51:17 GMT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and running inside the store. Officer Mike Lopez, a police spokesman, says the man had fled from the scene after the Saturday afternoon shooting in South Los Angeles. 

    >>

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and running inside the store. Officer Mike Lopez, a police spokesman, says the man had fled from the scene after the Saturday afternoon shooting in South Los Angeles. 

    >>
  • Crews responding to John Belmont fire in Mica

    Crews responding to John Belmont fire in Mica

    Saturday, July 21 2018 10:47 PM EDT2018-07-22 02:47:22 GMT

    MICA, Wash. - Fire crews are responding to a brush fire in Mica Saturday evening. The John Belmont fire is burning at 20-30 acres on Belmont Rd. near the Spokane Valley Rifle and Pistol Club. The Spokane Valley Fire Department says multiple structures are being threatened. Firefighters are working to protect at least two structures.Multiple agencies are responding and air support is being called in. 

    >>

    MICA, Wash. - Fire crews are responding to a brush fire in Mica Saturday evening. The John Belmont fire is burning at 20-30 acres on Belmont Rd. near the Spokane Valley Rifle and Pistol Club. The Spokane Valley Fire Department says multiple structures are being threatened. Firefighters are working to protect at least two structures.Multiple agencies are responding and air support is being called in. 

    >>
  • Buckshot and L Road fires in Mattawa both nearing containment

    Buckshot and L Road fires in Mattawa both nearing containment

    Saturday, July 21 2018 7:37 PM EDT2018-07-21 23:37:00 GMT

    MATTAWA, Wash. - The Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team says the Buckshot fire is now 93 percent contained Saturday afternoon. The Road L fire near the Vernita bridge is now 75 percent contained.

    >>

    MATTAWA, Wash. - The Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team says the Buckshot fire is now 93 percent contained Saturday afternoon. The Road L fire near the Vernita bridge is now 75 percent contained.

    >>