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Your Healthy Community: A Veteran You Should Know

By By Katie Sciba
Nov. 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.


One of the privileges I have as a social worker is to help some of our nations' veterans. There have been several patients who I've been working with lately who are veterans.

I'm all about making connections: resource to resource or resource to need.

I have met a veteran you should know.

Gilbert Ramon retired as a gunnery sergeant from the United States Marine Corps in 2009 after serving for 20 years. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gilbert, of Inez, said it is important to have the spirit of helping the community. He is active in the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Inez, the Marine Corps League, Knights of Columbus and is an assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 101.

He is a founder and president of the organization Honor361, or the South Texas Iraq Afghanistan War Monument. Its mission is to honor and preserve our Fallen Warriors who gave their lives and those who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and all operations in the War on Terror.

Gilbert was a passionate Marine who worked hard to serve his country well. One of things he loves most about being a Marine is the camaraderie he experienced.

Gilbert spent two birthdays in one tour in Iraq. On his second birthday spent in harsh settings, his Marines managed to pull together some cupcakes, light them up and sing to him. Just then, 20 helicopters flew right above them; everyone joked that they had arranged that too.

"In a really bad place, for a few minutes, I forgot where I was and it was good," Gilbert said.

If you are a veteran who is struggling with any problems, Gilbert wants you to know it is a healing process and there is help for you. "Together, we can figure things out, and there is hope," he says. If you are not a veteran, it is that you support your veterans. You can do this by employing them, respecting them and honoring them no matter how they served this country.

The transition from serving in the military to civilian life can be difficult especially if a veteran has sustained mental or physical injuries. It can also be hard for veterans to find work.

The truth is that no matter what is going on in our country, we can do a lot to help people in need if we join forces and work hard to serve our community.

That is what I'm doing. That is definitely what Gilbert is doing.

What about you?

Here's a few resources for veterans: va.gov, k9sforwarriors.org, honor361.com, twc.state.tx.us/customers/jsemp/veterans.html.

Katie Sciba is a writer, a licensed social worker, a pastor's wife and a mother from Victoria. She works for AARN Health Services and blogs online at Always Simply Begin.

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