GULF BREEZE, Fla. (WALA) - Organizers with the local non-profit group The Center for Strategic Military Excellence said they hope to get more help in assisting veterans around the Gulf Coast.
CSME was founded by Michelle Caldwell in 2010 and has been helping veterans of all armed services.
As a part of the non-profit, Caldwell and secretary Janice Wilson have been the feet on the ground, helping organize programs to help battle veteran homelessness, mental health issues, addiction and more.
"It's a labor of love because these benefits are out there, and we need to make sure the veterans get them because they deserve them. They fought and protected this country. It's our responsibility as a country to take care of them when they get back home," said Caldwell.
They said the economy has slowed down some of their abilities, and they're hoping donations can help.
The organization once had an office, but the women said they now work out of home due to a lack of funding.
"It was a judgment call. Everybody has to cut back. We didn't need an office because we can take it to the streets. We make whatever sacrifices are necessary," Caldwell said.
Despite the difficulty, the women work around the clock, helping hundreds of veterans.
"We're really pleased with the number of veterans that we've seen make a lot of progress and re-establish themselves successfully but there's so many more we need to get to," said Janice Wilson.
The CSME also hopes to bring a monumentrecognizing women's service in the military to the Gulf Coast.
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