Missouri Marine helps 1,000 veterans get help they need

Marine volunteers thousands of hours to veterans

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Men and women veterans from Vietnam celebrated more than just the fallen at the Vietnam Memorial in Kansas City on Monday. They gave special thanks to a man who has helped nearly everyone who attended.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II honored Tom Weatherby for his service away from the Marines.

"Without him, more than 1,000 veterans in this area here would not have perhaps received the benefits," James Lewis said.

One out of three veterans suffers from physical or mental issues.

"For the most part, a civilian does not understand the particular type of stresses that the Veteran has," Lewis said, who was helped by Weatherby.

Weatherby has spent nearly 6,000 hours as a middleman between veteran service providers and people like Israel Groves.

"You need to talk to people and I talked to him and he helped me through a hard time," Groves said.

Half of veterans who have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) don't get the help they need.

"They just don't seem to be getting the help they need and I don't know what the answer is," Weatherby said.

He's trying to change that, even if his pay only comes in the form of a thank you.

"What they gave him today is a drop in the bucket," Larry McCoulough said.

Weatherby previously worked from his RV, but was recently provided a space at the Vietnam Veterans offices in Kansas City, Kan.

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