Warriors Helping Warriors: The South Broad Street house of hope
Aug 09, 2019 11:30AM
By J. Chambless
Some of the many volunteers who helped renovate the Warriors Helping Warriors South Broad Street location.
Over the past few years, the once-dilapidated mansion on South
Broad Street in Middletown has been slowly brought back to life -- nail by nail
and brick by brick -- just like the men and women of our military who come to
this house for hope, connection, opportunity, mentoring and support.
In many ways, Warriors Helping Warriors, a non-profit organization that provides assistance to U.S. veterans, grew out of the frustration that founder Ret. Maj. Kevin Conley experienced on his own, as an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan. He was not alone; Conley quickly found kindship with other returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, whose re-adaptation to civilian life was being complicated by the red tape of the Veterans Administration and the medical transition system. Conley and his colleagues also saw a lack of support to get the assistance they – and their families and caregivers – needed.
From the time it began in 2013, Warriors Helping Warriors has served as the Conley family business, through the dedication of Kevin, his children Dylan and Brynn, and Kevin’s parents, Ret. Lt. Col. Bill Conley and Marsha Conley.
The organization’s mission statement is both simple and powerful: To enable veterans and their families to “Win the War at Home.”
Warriors Helping Warriors recently opened the Brian Conley Veteran Resiliency Center that helps put the mission statement into motion. The center offers programs to support health and wellness, housing, resource and benefits education, financial planning, recreation, peer support and mental health. The center is operated by veteran volunteers and a full time licensed counselor/social worker. Programs offered include yoga, healthy cooking, meditation, peer mentoring, support groups for veterans, spouses and families, counseling and fellowship.
The center also includes a multi-purpose room, study/ conference room, lounge, kitchenette and residential space for 12-15 homeless veterans with bedrooms, kitchen and a bathroom.
“Just yesterday, we received a call from a veteran, and when he pulled up to our door, we were able to give him a place to stay,” Kevin said. “Otherwise, he probably would have slept in his car. Sometimes, particularly for a veteran, it is difficult to ask for help, but that’s what we’re here for.
“The work we do is to listen to them, often on the very worst days of their lives, and begin to offer any help we can provide.”
Warriors Helping Warriors not only provides assistance to veterans, it honors them, as well. Every six months, the organization holds a brick laying ceremony for the families of veterans who purchase a commemorative and personally inscribed 4” x 8” brick that honors their loved one, who is serving or who has served in the military. Together, every family who purchases a brick is asked to place it firmly next to other commemorative bricks, in front of the Warriors Helping Warriors house.
On Sept. 7, they will hold a brick laying ceremony at their 104 South Broad Street location, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Warriors Helping Warriors is located at 104 South Broad Street in Middletown. To learn more and to purchase a brick for your veteran, visit www.whwonline.org.