Washington County Veteran Services working to pave new paths

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(FILE) American flags are placed at a fountain in honor of fallen service members during a ceremony at the Tidewater Veterans Memorial in Virginia Beach for Veterans Day. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Betsy Knapper/Released)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The sense of brotherhood while serving is what veterans say they miss the most when transitioning to civilian life.

Washington County Veteran Services says finding a new sense of community is crucial to transitioning successfully.

Ben Dykes is the director of the Washington County Veteran Services. He works with vets daily, making the transition to civilian life, and what he believes to be hardest for them is finding a new sense of community. 

A feeling one veteran currently making the transition says she knows all too well. 

“I think a lot of vets are lonely when they get out,” says Ashby Parmeter. 

Parmeter says she’s been using the Washington County Veteran Services office as a resource since she got home five months ago. 

Even though she’s a student at the University of Arkansas working towards a doctorate in forensic psychology, she says she comes here to network, but sometimes she comes just to be around other vets. 

“You know, just have some veteran time, they can come here and do that, and when they’re here, there are just so many resources for them,” says Parmeter. 

Dykes says this is something he welcomes veterans to do; however, he believes the key to a successful transition is finding a new path.  

“We can point you in the right direction and find you something that helps fill that. I think finding that brotherhood is finding gameful employment,” says Dykes. 

Dykes says any veteran who may be going through similar transition struggles shouldn’t be afraid to stop by the office. . 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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