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Iraq Veterans Help John 3:16 Mission Feed Homeless

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The troops lent a hand at the John 3:16 Mission helping serve a holiday meal to those in need. The troops lent a hand at the John 3:16 Mission helping serve a holiday meal to those in need.
The men are a year removed from returning home from Iraq. They say serving their country in the middle east was a privilege, now serving the less fortunate in their backyard is a pleasure. The men are a year removed from returning home from Iraq. They say serving their country in the middle east was a privilege, now serving the less fortunate in their backyard is a pleasure.
The executive director at John 3:16, says 30% of the country's homeless are veterans, some of the Gulf War and some of the Vietnam War. The executive director at John 3:16, says 30% of the country's homeless are veterans, some of the Gulf War and some of the Vietnam War.

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Nearly a dozen soldiers from the 1st Battalion - 279th Infantry Regiment (1-279th) took part in a special holiday mission Tuesday evening.

The troops lent a hand at the John 3:16 Mission, helping serve a holiday meal to those in need.

Lt. Col. Doug Stall is typically in charge on the battlefield. Tuesday night his mission was a bit different.

"I guess, turkey man, I don't know that I have a title," Stall said.

Col. Stall, and nearly a dozen of his fellow soldiers from the 1-279th, volunteered to serve a Thanksgiving meal to the homeless at the John 3:16 Mission.

"A lot of these men have had a very difficult time and this is just our way of sharing some of the blessings with them that we've had," Stall said.

The men are a year removed from returning home from Iraq. They say serving their country in the middle east was a privilege, now serving the less fortunate in their backyard is a pleasure. 

"I think it's an awesome opportunity to give back to the community. I think it's one of those things that, there's so many people here that have needs and we can, at least, fulfill one of
those," said Sgt. Kyle Wachtendorf.

Soldiers face a number of hurdles when they come home from war, many end up in a shelter such as this one. The executive director at John 3:16 says 30% of the country's homeless are veterans, some of the Gulf War and some of the Vietnam War.

"Sometimes they come home and things went apart when they went away. Sometimes they come home and they weren't okay because of what happened to them while they were over there," said Steve Whitaker, Executive Director, John 3:16 Mission.

The soldiers hope a little time handing out turkey will put a smile on someone's face, while thankful they are in a position to give back to someone who could very easily be a veteran.

Company members that talked with The News On 6 say they believe the military does a good job working with returning soldiers. They are required to meet a mental health professional every three months after returning from deployment.

 

 

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