OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — Marines with the Wounded Warrior Battalion West, a regiment that supports ill or injured service members, lent a hand to help retired service members on Thursday.
The community service event is in partnership with Interfaith Community Services to upgrade the common areas of a transitional housing complex for veterans experiencing homelessness in Oceanside.
Brett Tate joined the Wounded Warrior Battalion in January after his last deployment to assist in the evacuation of U.S. citizens and others at the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan.
"My unit suffered causalities over there and I think that was it. That was my icing on the cake deployment," Tate said.
He now struggles with PTSD and is working to transition back into civilian life.
"Jumping back in is definitely nerve-racking but we’re taught from day one to adapt and overcome," Tate said.
"97% of our service members will actually exit and be medically retired or retire out of Wounded Warrior Battalion," said Adriana Macias, Transition Program Manager for the Wounded Warrior Battalion West.
Macias said giving back to the community helps.
"Once you take off the uniform, what will you do then? For us, that's getting them out in the community and experiencing different things," Macias said.
Tate said working alongside veterans is more than just a bonding experience.
"During the projects, you learn a lot… mistakes that they've [veterans] made in the past, ways they were treated, things they wished they'd done so it means a lot to us," Tate said.