ROCHESTER, NY (WROC-TV) - Warrior Salute Veterans Services plays an important role for veterans transitioning to civilian life.
Eastridge High School graduate and U.S. Army veteran David Kendrick, Jr., who delivered the keynote address at the third "Salute: A Toast to Our Veterans" Thursday night, and Tom DeRoller, the Executive Director of CDS Wolf Foundation, discussed the program Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.
"My message was that this program is out there for veterans such as myself who were injured in the military, who need to get help coming out of the military, making that transition from military life to civilian life," said Kendrick. "For me, the transition happened from civilian life to military life. It happened really quick. I graduated from Eastridge and I was in the military two weeks later. Then when I got out, I moved back to Rochester, and had no resources available to help me out."
When Kendrick needed it most, Warrior Salute was there to help. "It started with just giving me a place to stay," he explained. "I had a place to stay for a year, and this is when the program was really small. I had an apartment in Webster to myself, and it helped me build skills, such as interview skills, resume writing skills, it actually gave me a job. I worked at the Spice Factory on Blossom Road. I went from being Sergeant Kendrick back to being David Kendrick again."
For DeRoller, Kendrick's story embodies the vision of Warrior Salute Veterans Services. "We are delighted to have him in town and talking about the early days of Warrior Salute Veteran Services," said DeRoller. "We talked about the apartment situation, now we have a free-standing residence for our veterans that are involved in our programs, and our treatments, and our outpatient counseling."
DeRoller added, "It is very much tailored to the individual veteran. So we have a wealth and variety of services available, but we plug into where the veteran is on the day when we meet him or her."
Kendrick makes his home in Atlanta these days. He pointed out that Warrior Salute no only helps local veterans, but veterans across the country. "When I got out I reached out and I was immediately brought in the program. But when I came into the program we brought in veterans from Michigan, California, all around the country, who came into the program and got all the help they needed."
With Veterans Day coming up this Sunday, November 11, now is the perfect time to reflect on the impact of Warrior Salute. "We've served over 200 veterans to date, and in 2018 we've served over 50 veterans," DeRoller said. "So, it's just evolving and growing."
For more information about Warrior Salute Veterans Services, visit CDSLifeTransitions.org.
Link to video: https://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/local-news/warrior-salute-helps-veterans/1582784047