New virtual veterans clinic director hopes to help former service members walking in his boots

Hope for the Warriors is a non-profit organization providing mental health services to veterans.
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 7:54 PM EST
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - There’s new Hope for veterans in Onslow County.

Hope for the Warriors opened their new veterans clinic, which is operating entirely virtually.

“First four years in the marine corps, I think, you remember those the most,” said Monroe Holcomb, Hope for the Warriors Outreach Manager. “That’s when everything’s exciting and scary at the same time.”

Holcomb, a retired Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps, remembers feeling a little lost and confused about his time moving out of the military and into civilian life.

“For me, that transition was all these ‘what ifs,’” said Holcomb. “I started to doubt myself.”

Today, Holcomb is using those memories to encourage others to find help as he did.

“When you’re grown into the military, a lot of times, you hear ‘suck it up,’” said Holcomb. “So, you start to adapt to those same things.”

On average, 22 veterans a day die by suicide, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

That’s why the Steven A. Cohen Military Clinic, run by Hope for the Warriors, actively works exclusively with veterans and their families to process their unique personal issues.

“You can’t be the superhero in your mind that you want to be if you don’t deal with those underlying issues,” said Holcomb.

The clinic opened its doors virtually last week. They plan to move into their new building once renovations are complete to offer in-person sessions to those who need them.

“The stigma around getting help for those issues is what keeps people from trying to get that help,” said Clinic Director Beverly King. “They retire, they get out of the military service, and they’re lost. ‘What do I do with myself? What’s my purpose now?’”

Holcomb is helping those veterans find that purpose. Because, as he says, they’re the ones who need it the most.

“I need me to help me,” said Holcomb. “Just let them know what you’re going through. They might not have the answer. But, they have an ear, and they’re willing to listen.”

The clinic plans to open its doors in the spring fully.

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