Organization Helps Vets Transition Back After War - myfoxcarolinas.com

Organization Helps Vets Transition Back After War

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Local veteran Billy Costello says it’s hard to describe his experience of being in the army. He says it’s shaped who he is today.

“Some things can’t be explained to people. They have to be felt. They have to be learned,” Costello said.

But during his service in Afghanistan, he had a life-changing encounter. While clearing a route of explosive devices, he stepped on one.

“It immediately traumatically amputated my right leg at the knee and I had a lot of other injuries as well,” he said.

He remembers how it felt, lying there helpless.

“It felt really dark. It felt hopeless. It felt like life was over,” he said.

Navy veteran Jason Del Pezzo says he learned valuable lessons while being in the Navy for four years.

“When you’re in the military, you have to put your life in somebody else’s hands. And you have to trust the people that you’re with,” Del Pezzo said.

Although he didn't't’t suffer any physical injuries like Billy, Jason says it was still hard to mentally adjust back into his old life when he returned home in 2002.

“It was good to be home, but I didn't’t know which direction to go or what to do with my life,” he said.

For Billy and Jason, transitioning wasn't’t so easy once they came back home to North Carolina. But thanks to Charlotte Bridge Home,

they were able to get the help they needed.

Tommy Norman and his staff work to help veterans get the resources they need to get their life back on track. Charlotte Bridge Home connected Billy and Jason with job opportunities, and helped them develop the skills necessary to gain employment.

“It gives you an enormous sense of satisfaction seeing these young families move out into the communities, see them be employed, and buy a house,” Norman said.

“Everybody needs somebody. If they don’t have that to fall back on, it can be life altering. It can change the course of their life,” Costello said.

Both Jason and Billy say their proud to have served this country, and are fortunate to have found a heroes in their time of need.

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