Mission Welcome Home

The state is rallying communities behind servicemembers returning from active duty.

Wednesday night the Department of Veterans Affairs kicked off a mission of its own: Mission Welcome Home.

As the war continues in Iraq, returning veterans are facing more problems on the home front. One of those: divorce rates, which are hitting all time highs.

That's just one reason why the state is trying to increase its servicemember support.

Mission Welcome Home is a fundraising effort that will help integrate returning veterans back into their communities and make them aware of their benefits, including counseling, emergency health care and retraining.

Mission Welcome Home coordinator and policy advisor for the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, Jeff Johnson, says, "When you come home you've been removed from everyone you know, from TV, news, sports, your loved ones, and you've been living in this vacuum and sometimes this vacuum is really pressure filled."

"You're constantly on the go in Iraq," recalls Sgt. Ken Oliver of Madison's Golf Company, "And when you get back it's a let down and to try to get back to a normal job or normal life with a 9 to 5 schedule or with an 8 to 10 hour work day... getting back into the swing of things is a big adjustment."

All money raised from Mission Welcome Home will go to the Veterans Trust Fund.

If you are a veteran and would like more information on your benefits, go to the state department's website at www.dva.state.wi.us.

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