Mobile Veteran's Center helping combat veterans reintegrate into society

Posted at 5:02 PM, Jun 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 17:02:39-04

It's been 30 years since Frank Jones served in the Army, but to this day, he is dealing with the effects of his service.

"Non-combat PTSD due to medic trauma, also with depression, anxiety and alcoholism that's in remission," said Jones. "I've been sober a little over 13 years now."

It's why the former combat medic has made it his mission to help combat veterans reintegrate themselves into society.

"I had to learn how to live differently in a life of recovery in a life of 'do what's right' and not 'what feels good'; which is a hard way to live," said Jones.

He has been homeless twice since returning from serving in Egypt in 1987. He says he is walking proof fighting for this country often times means living with wounds that can't be seen.

He could dwell on his own issues, but he told ABC Action News he has decided to channel what he has learned from his past and move forward to help others.

"Those traumas never go away, but we can get to a point where it doesn't control us anymore," said Jones.

For the last two years, he has been driving the mobile vet center operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The mobile center specializing in readjustment counseling.

"Whether its doing counseling onboard at that moment or setting them up for a referral to our office or the hospital... just depends on what they have going on."

He told us he is sure he has saved some lives in the process.

"I've had veterans come up to me years later, maybe I see them at the hospital or something. But they say to me, 'hey you saved my life. If it wasn't for you I wouldn't be where I am at right now,'" said Jones

The mobile goes into communities across Florida, where veterans may not have transportation or for whatever reason, just can't travel to the physical office. The office then comes to them at designated locations and specific days.

"It's what I call learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable," said Jones.

Jones said you're never the same after coming back from combat, it's just about learning how to live being different.

If you or someone you know needs help or to find to find out where the mobile unit is going to be next, call 727-372-1855

The Mobile Vet Center will be located at:

  • K9 Partners for Patriots in  Brooksville, FL  on Jun 8th, 15th, 29th
  • Porter Campus  onWesley Chapel, FL on Jun 9th
  • VFW Post 10167 in Holiday, FL on Jun 10th
  • Circle Of Veterans in Dade City, FL on Jun 16th
  • Keiser University in Ft Myers, FL on June 22nd
  • K9 Partners for Patriots BBQ in Brooksville, FL on Jun 24th