Willie Steele, left, talks with veteran Rodger McKinley during the Vet to Vet office’s open house in North Vernon.—Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer
Willie Steele and Harold Risner have seen a lot of horrible scenes during their military service. Both have had to deal with post traumatic stress disorder, both have come close to suicide.
Steele, the new Vet to Vet coordinator in Jennings County, and Risner talked about their brushes with suicide the other day.
Suicide is a big problem for military veterans who have PTSD. Steele and Risner know that better than most people. That's why Steele underwent training to become a Vet to Vet coordinator. That's why Risner was among those attending the open house earlier this month for the new Vet to Vet office in North Vernon.
"We understand what other veterans are going through," Steele said. "We can talk to them without them worrying about being judged."
Steele, who has lived in North Vernon for 15 years, retired from the U.S. Army in 1996. He served with the 82nd Airborne, an airborne infantry division, and was sent to Panama, Philippines and many other places to serve. He was part of the American forces that invaded Panama and captured dictator Manuel Noriega in late 1989 and early 1990. In the Philippines, he helped recover bodies after a military plane crash, a horrific duty.
Judge Jon Webster has ruled that renovations may continue on the historic Cone-Schuck home at 305 South Jennings Street.
The Jennings County High School girls scored their second straight win by turning back visiting Madison 49-43 on Thursday.
When Dalton Grills was called to the JCHS guidance office Monday morning, he had an inkling of why a counselor wanted to see him. But he wasn't sure until he walked into the office to be greeted by a large crowd with his dad front and center holding a large sign announcing the best possible news: "Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Recipient Finalist: Dalton Grills."
The Affordable Christmas Store received an unexpected and welcome boost from Scipio Elementary School students. In an effort led by the school's Student Council, the youngsters collected over $2,000 in toys for the special store.
Volunteer Angi Grider has her hands full as she restocks shelves at the Jennings County Youth Foundation's fifth annual Affordable Christmas "store" on Saturday. More photos from the event will be in this week's Plain Dealer.-Staff Photo by Bryce Mayer