Larry Jordan, who served in the U.S. Navy until 1997, said he found himself homeless in Myrtle Beach after his life took a wrong turn.
Seventeen years later, he was in his first apartment in Myrtle Beach, thanks to the Housing and Urban Development Veterans Assistance Supportive Housing program, and he now has his own home in the Maryville community of Georgetown.
In support of programs to keep local veterans safe, healthy and with a roof over their heads, the Low Country Veterans Group is hosting a Veterans Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 17, in Georgetown. The event will start at 4 p.m. in the Georgetown High School auditorium.
The guest speaker will be Bishop Samuel L. Green Sr., presiding bishop of the seventh Episcopal District. There is no cost for admission, but donations will be graciously accepted.
“We just want everybody in the community to come out to support our veterans and make a connection,” LCVG Cmdr. Franklin Rutledge said. “It will be a spiritual good time. If you come to the event, you’ll be different when you leave.”
He said LCVG is dedicated to helping veterans who need assistance and they partner with HUD and the Veterans Administration.
“Any veterans who are in trouble can always reach out to the LCVG,” Rutledge said. “If you are a veteran and you need some assistance, if we don’t do it, we can send you to an agency that can.”
Susan Lane, a case manager with HUD VASH, said working with the LCVG is a pleasure. She said she works with that group and the Georgetown Housing Authority to offer homes for veterans who need them.
“It is a group effort, but they are a wonderful resource,” she said. “They have been there, they know the ins-and-outs of the program and they know what veterans have been through.”
She said it is important to her to help veterans find homes.
“They served our country and they gave us our freedom and they continue to protect it,” Lane said. “So we need to give back to them.”
Jordan, who is a LCVG member, said now that he has a home he wants to help other veterans who need help.
“Now I look back on my fellow homeless veterans and their struggles and I see them going through what I went through,” Jordan said. “I want to help them and I would do that in any way possible because someone helped me.”
LCVG members Theodore Russell and Greg Bennett said they are glad to be part of the group and urge people to come support their efforts during the Veterans Celebration on Nov. 17.
“It means a lot to me because we do so much and we’ve seen where we all came from,” Russell said. “It is a wonderful gift that we can give back to the veterans.”
Bennett said many veterans need help with employment, or help with physical and mental disabilities.
“Many veterans have anxiety and flashbacks because they’ve seen their comrades killed in combat, so they really do need assistance,” Bennett said. “There shouldn’t be any homeless veterans in the U.S.”
Anyone who knows of a veteran who needs assistance can contact the Low Country Veterans Group on their Facebook page or call 843-277-6198. For more information, visit www.lowcountryvets.org.