New Veterans Center in South Moline Township
A veteran in East Moline wants to help other veterans find healing and community.
Derick Burton is a combat veteran and paratrooper. He designed the Recreation and Restoration program for South Moline Township.
It includes activities, connections to resources, physical therapy, and volunteer opportunities. Burton calls it "therapeutic camaraderie."
"We usually got a pizza in the oven, or we're doing taco bar, got a movie on," he said. "Just come on down and hang out."
"Right now, we've got so many different age groups of vets too, so there will be someone you can relate to, if you come down, no matter what."
Township supervisor Greg Aguilar says it's also an opportunity for veterans to talk with elected officials.
"Veterans are very diverse and they all have different needs, and sometimes they just need somebody to talk to, sometimes they need a place to go that is maybe not a religious organization, or is not a bar or a tavern."
"Having someone to talk to is a big part of this program, and giving them a voice through our elected leaders is also a big deal for us too."
Veterans can visit the South Moline Township Senior Center on 17th Avenue in East Moline every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening.