A veteran's organization that began in Kentucky as a social group to decrease the isolation that can lead to suicide will be in the national spotlight this Veteran's Day.
Veteran's Club Inc. has grown to 6,000 members in several states and is being featured in the History Channel special Salute to Service.
Shelbyville resident Jeremy Harrell, 40, was in the U.S. Army for nine years and served in Iraq. When he returned to Kentucky, he found himself going to veterans’ groups in other states.
He founded the Veteran’s Club in 2017 to support and encourage veterans who may be confronting common issues related to PTSD, the return to civilian life, and the loss of camaraderie found in the military.
The mission of the Veteran's Club is "to provide connection, healing, recovery and housing for the veteran community."
Harrell said the History Channel and the A&E network heard about the Veteran’s Club’s unique projects.
“So they came down and they filmed a little bit about the Veteran’s Village, the homeless veteran healing and recovery center we operate," said Harrell. "The majority was filmed around our equine facilitated mentoring program, which is our nationally recognized program. We’re most known for that.”
The organization also has a "Jeep Build" vocational training program in automotive mechanics, one offering that can help veterans prepare for a new career.
Harrell said the History Channel program includes his personal story.
“It’s one of the few times that I’ve ever been really been public with some of the issues that I faced coming home from Iraq," Harrell said. "But I thought it was really important to make sure that people understood that PTSD is real. That our homelessness is real and it’s more prevalent than we could imagine.”
The program airs on the History Channel on Veterans Day at 8 p.m. central, 9 eastern.