Cumberland Co. seeks to connect veterans in new assistance program
(Harrisburg) — A midstate county hopes to tend to the needs of area veterans by connecting vets across generations.
Cumberland County’s Veteran Nine-Line: Help on the Homefront program aims to create a volunteer network of recent-conflict veterans who can spend time with older vets. A nine-line is how soldiers in combat call for help when one is wounded.
Amber Endrusick, who served as an Army medic for ten years and is now director of Cumberland County Veterans Affairs, said those coming home from today’s wars aren’t joining veterans’ organizations like past generations, which can lead them to feel isolated.
“Veterans who seek participation in any kind of veteran organization have much more success in their mental health and are way less likely to follow through with any suicidal ideations than those who don’t,” she said
The program seeks to give those vets an opportunity to still belong to something greater than themselves.
“And what better way than to serve our older veterans who are now needing care and needing companionship,” Endrusick said.
The program is funded by a $20,000 state grant.
Money will also go to vets who need immediate help with things like rent or groceries.
Endrusick said she plans to fundraise to sustain the program past the one-year grant period.
Cumberland County is home to about 22,000 veterans.