For many American service men and women who have returned from active duty, fitting back into society can sometimes be difficult. Many veterans come home suffering the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, but an organization here in Erie is providing help and relief for our veterans. It’s called Boots on Ground. Today on JET 24, we’re giving you a chance to support this important organization.
Financial support can go a long way towards giving a veteran a fighting chance to get back into society, but emotional support can be outright lifesaving. One family knows that all too well. It has been a long road home for 36-year-old Jason Mayo. Mayo started his military career in the infantry, later serving at Arlington National Cemetery and even as a recruiter in Erie. But, there have been tough times too, a stint in Korea and then after a promotion into intelligence gathering, Afghanistan and a meeting with an IED that would embed shrapnel into his leg and end his military career just 18 months short of the benefits that come with a 20-year hitch.
Jason’s Mom, Mary, didn’t fully see how her son’s injury changed him until she went to Arizona to bring him home. “Not being able to finish his time in the military really upset him and caused him to drink and when I got out there to Arizona, he was laying on the floor… I had to actually have his friend pick him up and put him in the truck just so I could get him home.”
Jason tells us, “My mother, she’s disabled as well… she got hurt at work so money’s tough here and everything that Venus has done here is absolutely amazing.”
Venus and Boots on Ground help the family with finances, but it’s more; it’s hope. Jason stays on his med’s to help with the memory and liver problems caused by his past and hopes to land a job that will help him hit the 20-year mark. Jason says, “If it wasn’t for her and my mother I don’t think I’d be alive right now to be perfectly honest; I think I would be six feet under.”
If you or a loved one are a veteran looking for support, you can contact Boots on Ground by calling 814-878-2934, or by visiting their Facebook site here.