SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously instructed staff to report back in four months on ways to support the estimated 250,000 veterans in the region.
At a special afternoon hearing, former military members and representatives of community groups talked about their experiences, programs and needs. The discussion covered employment, pulling together services, and support and prevention efforts.
Joe Qualls, who fought in Iraq, said he was overwhelmed by post-traumatic stress disorder.
"By the time I got back from Iraq, my belief in God and my belief in humanity were crushed," Qualls said. "It took me, and unfortunately a lot of others, hitting rock bottom before someone reached out to help."
That person was a chaplain who pointed him to local services, Qualls said. He said after losing his position as a police officer in Washington state and contemplating suicide, he moved back to his native San Diego and enrolled in a program run by the county Health and Human Services Agency.
He said he has since overcome PTSD and is an advocate for HHSA programs.
"I don't think I've ever felt better than I do today about our efforts to assist veterans," Supervisor Ron Roberts said after listening to Qualls.
Officials with the Military Mentoring Initiative, which runs a job shadowing program with the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, said an estimated 80 percent of veterans don't know what they want to do when they leave the military.
Charles Blake, a former Marine from San Diego, said he was interested in becoming a nurse. But after going through the job shadowing program, he determined he would rather get into respiratory therapy. He said he already has a job offer from Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside when he graduates from training in his new field next May.
Supervisor Pam Slater-Price said Blake went through a great program that gives people hands-on experience.
Parents and staffers at a South Bay elementary school on Thursday demanded answers after a popular principal was suddenly reassigned without explanation.
Police officials in Carlsbad plan to hold a community meeting Thursday to apprise the public of law enforcement efforts to identify and track down a prowler who has been lurking around and sneaking into homes in the northern reaches of the city.
The News 8 Crimefighters are helping authorities in a manhunt looking for Kristian Alexis Brito. If you have information call CrimeStoppers at (888) 580-TIPS. A reward is being offered for his arrest and remember you can make a tip and still remain anonymous.
There are renewed calls for more fan protection at ball parks after a terrifying accident at Yankee Stadium.
The Escondido Police Department is mourning the loss of two retired K-9 officers who died one day apart earlier this month.
The City of El Cajon is taking steps to stop Hepatitis A from spreading as San Diego is battling an outbreak.
Authorities captured 25 suspected drug dealers Thursday during a wide-ranging North County enforcement sweep.
As the homeless population grows and rents balloon in San Diego, city officials Thursday announced a series of proposals to help alleviate the housing shortage over the next 10 years.