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Indy Warrior Partnership helps local veteran get back on her feet

Veterans Affairs
Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-08 12:34:25-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The goal of Indy Warrior Partnership is to connect Hoosier veterans to resources in Central Indiana.

“Right now, it’s just one day at a time, trying to be better and do better every day,” Jessica Gerig said.

That’s her new outlook on life.

“I am incredibly lucky thanks to the people that I've met and the help that I've gotten,” Gerig said.

Gerig is a disabled Air Force Veteran who fell on hard times throughout the last few years.

“Three years ago, I got a divorce and found myself homeless. I ended up in the hospital due to a suicide attempt and was pointed towards the Indianapolis Domiciliary where I was given some help to get back on my feet. I ended up in the HVAF program. I then, stupidly, bought an RV thinking that that would give me freedom. The RV ended up having no heat and no water,” Gerig said.

That’s where the Indy Warrior Partnership came in. Through their connections, they were able to find Gerig an apartment.

“Now, it's just a matter of getting on my feet and moving forward,” Gerig said.

“The VA says they only connect about 40 to 60 percent of veterans nationally. So where are the other 50% of veterans?” Matt Hall said.

Matt Hall is the program director at Indy Warrior Partnership. His goal is to connect with veterans before problems like this arise.

“We find that when we do create community amongst veterans, we have some place for veterans to call when there are life altering issues. Death in the family, fires, loss of a job, when those walls do come closing in, they have resources they have people they can call,” Hall said.

They connect Hoosier Veterans to people like Lisa Wilken, a volunteer advocate with a wealth of connections.

“I volunteer my time to serve other veterans. I use it as my way to continue to serve,” said Wilken. “When I'm able to help a veteran, it restores my faith in people to see everybody coming together to help that person. It's a wonderful feeling.”

As for Gerig, she’s more than thankful for Indy Warrior Partnership.

“I am more stable now than I have been in years,” Gerig said.

Gerig said she’s applying for jobs now and has also learned ways to apply to increase her benefits.

The Indy Warrior Partnership serves all veterans, no matter the branch or time served.