Easter Seals, Dryhootch open support center for veterans

WAUKESHA (WITI) -- For many deployed military members, returning home can be a challenging time.  The Milwaukee Dept. of Veterans Affairs can provide emotional support, but there's a new place in Waukesha County where they can go to connect and relate with other veterans.

For Wisconsin National Guard veteran Anthony Anderson, returning home from Iraq wasn't easy.  He was deployed twice, and both times, he faced issues only other veterans can relate.

“Going to war is so different.  I couldn't sleep at night.  I didn't know how to talk to people,” said Anderson.

He turned to Dryhootch, an organization by veterans helping veterans through talking and sharing experiences in a safe, comfortable, drug and alcohol-free environment.

“It's so helpful to hear people that know exactly what I'm talking about,” said Anderson.

There is a Dryhootch site in Milwaukee, but on Monday, a new location opened in Waukesha on Northview Road.  It's called the “Forward Operating Base” through a partnership with Easter Seals of Southeast Wisconsin.

“This Forward Operating Base is really just a drop in center for people to stop in, whether they have

needs or talk to other vets where they're coming from,” said Easter Seals President Bob Glowacki.

Inside Easter Seals' Workforce Training Center, you'll find an office acting much like a coffee-shop, with couches and tables, where vets can connect with others on issues like PTSD.  They can get employment and educational services, and families can get support too.

“The VA doesn't provide services for family members for the most part, so here, families can come

who are struggling and ask for help,” said Dryhootch Founder Bob Curry.

With more than 30,000 veterans in Waukesha County alone, this is a place where there is great need and one that's now closer to their homes.

“At the minimum, it can act as a first step to a conduit to a more successful reintegration,” said Anderson.

The "Forward Operating Base" is located inside the Easter Seals' Workforce Training Center on 505 Northview Road in Waukesha.  It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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