Our veterans sometimes return home with extra struggles. They can be physical or oftentimes unseen and emotional. That's where the nonprofit organization Coming Home Inc. comes in.
"It's often said that you can leave the battlefield, but not the war," said Oliane Scott. She had a brother who joined the military at age 17 and served two tours of duty in Iraq.
"And when he came home is when the real battle, for him, began. He struggled with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and severe anxiety. And 13 years after enlisting, he final surrendered and he took his life," said Scott.
That was a year ago. Scott said it sent the entire family to a pretty dark place.
"I had two choices. I could let that grief consume me or I could turn it into something positive," she said. So she did. She started Coming Home Inc.
"So that we can try to ensure that veterans don't just come back to the place they once lived, but they come home," said Scott.
She said to a place that's safe, with support and with gratitude and appreciation. Coming Home Inc. offers a wide range of services from running errands to cleaning a veterans home, to stress management, counseling, parenting and financial classes.
"They just need help with the every day things. Because in the end, it's the every day things, the small every day things, that end up being pretty big things," said Scott.
Stephanie Umberger is an Army veteran. She was deployed in Iraq and stationed in Germany and Hawaii. She just recently moved to Eastern Idaho from Tennessee.
"And I came here with just the clothes on my back and a backpack," said Umberger.
Coming Home Inc. provided her clothing, bedding, towels, and the things she would need to live here.
"It meant a lot. They didn't ask a lot of questions. They just asked me what I needed and how they could help," said Umberger.
That was the cue to help them. Kory Carling was outside ready to Pay It Forward.
"And now you get to see what I get to see when we're here to Pay It Forward. So here we go. We are going to go surprise them," said Carling, recording a video of himself on his phone.
Back inside the interview continued.
"It's the little things that really add up so quickly," said Scott.
"Oliane, how are you?" said Carling, walking into the home.
"Good. How are you?" replied Scott.
"Good. I'm Kory and I'm with Mountain American Credit Union," said Carling.
"Hi," said Scott, with a look of question on her face.
"I've heard about this awesome new idea that you're doing and about how you are out here serving our veterans and I'm here today to Pay It Forward. So I've brought with me today, $500 in cash that we want to Pay It Forward to you and all that you are doing to serve our veterans. So on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union, we'd like to give you $500 to continue your cause," Carling said, handing over an envelope with cash.
"Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it very much," said Scott.
"You're welcome," said Carling.
"Oh, what a surprise," said Scott.
"Great job," said Carling.
"Thank you," said Scott.
She said her nonprofit has been very rewarding so far. Her biggest challenge is finding veterans. They have to reach out to her because of medical privacy laws. She has placed brochures at VA clinics and hospitals
She is also looking for volunteers or businesses to join in and help. The best way to connect her is through the Facebook page called Coming Home Inc.
"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "Pay It Forward" on the right side of our website and fill out the form, or send an email to KIDK Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at firstname.lastname@example.org.