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Waterloo Committee Looks to Help Local Veterans

WATERLOO, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- The push to help local veterans brought more than 40 different organizations together today.

The cedar valley veterans committee held a resource fair in Waterloo's grout museum for active military members, veterans and their families.

Sometimes the problem is getting the information out there, letting veterans know that there are services geared toward their needs. That's exactly what today's fair hoped to show them.

"What this dog has done for me and what Retrieving Freedom has done for me is just amazing."

Eric Eastman is here to raise awareness for his fellow veterans.

That's because after 12 years in the National Guard coming home took a toll on him.

"It got harder and harder to fit in and I just felt myself going down a road that I didn't need to be going down, he said, but things gradually got better when he found Retrieving Freedom, an organization that places service dogs with veterans and others in need.

Trump here helps me out with greatly with anxiety and depression and just get me out of the house to go out and do things that I normally won't be able to do on my own, he said.

It's stories like Erics that makes this fair so vital.

"There's a lot of different resources out there and sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to identify who is the best one to go to for the right reasons, said Julia Heuer, UNI Student Military and Veterans Coordinator.

Which is why these organizations participate: to educate active military members and veterans about the various services in their community.

"The more of this we can get the more the public realizes what we went through to have this be here, said Norbet Trainor, a WWII veteran.

"This is a great place to come and see what the community has and what's out there...just what services there are, Eric said.

Today's event was the first of its kind in Waterloo.

The cedar valley veterans committee helped put it together.

They hope to make it an annual event.
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