JACKSON, Neb. (KCAU) — Many veterans struggle to find their purpose after the uniform, but there’s a Siouxland non-profit helping reconnect combat vets with their communities. The man behind the mission is featured in this week’s edition of Siouxland Stories.
“I was losing buddies to suicide,” said Tim Grover.
That was the tragic reality for Grover and is what inspired him to create Contact Front, an organization with its roots in Siouxland and branches that extend across the nation.
“Overseas or anywhere really, you rely on your team and then these guys get back to the states and they either don’t have a team they feel they can rely on,” Grover said.
One of those men was a mutual friend of Tim on social media.
“On Instagram, I saw that he had written, ‘This is the last page of my book, I’m sorry I couldn’t do better.’ I was like, ‘That’s a cry for help!’ and I messaged him and said, ‘Hey, dude. It looks like you’re on the struggle bus. Give me a call,'” Grover said. “He called me probably three minutes later. We talked for a few hours that night and made a plan for him to fly out here. Bought him a plane ticket. He ended up not, never got on his flight. He did that probably two more times, like ‘Man, I just can’t leave,’ He ended up taking his own life. That’s kind of what started it all, just figuring out how to get guys here.”
Sometimes, from across the country and in the middle of the night. Grover said that he’s ready and willing to spring into action whenever there’s a veteran or family in need, even if it doesn’t involve coming to stay in the cabin retreat on the property.
“We had a guy in Oklahoma who just need reliable wheels. So, for him, it wasn’t so much, ‘Hey come here and shoot.’ It was how can we get you a car. So, then we got to work with Jensen Imports and they totally blessed this guy with a car,” Grover said.
In fact, some veterans who come to ‘reset’ and stay at the newly built cabin never shoot a single round during their stay. For some of those who served, that is part of their healing process.
“The cabin happened, again, a labor of love from the community here. We raised a ton of money. I have a lot of range members that believed in this, so they were able to help financially support this, even just labor-wise. And then we would have vets come in from all over and help build this,” said Grover. “This is its own space. We built this right next to the waterfall, so you can open the windows and enjoy the tranquility of this place.”
Contact Front is soon planning to add an Army obstacle course.
“Fitness is a real part of the healing process. We always say that it’s mental, spiritual, and physical. Those three things kind of give guys the holistic approach to healing and not just coping,” said Grover.
Sometimes building or working on the property is part of the healing process, giving veterans the chance to form new shared experiences with new people.
“Let’s be honest. What happens is, you get back and you say, ‘Hey, nobody knows what I’ve experienced. Nobody can understand what I’ve experienced.’ So, you start to isolate yourself,” said Grover. “One thing that’s been really great for my guys is to be able to just work with other people in the community. We’ll probably build it with somebody who understands how to do this stuff. They get to work right next to somebody who might be awesome, and they say, ‘Wow, I have more in common with Joe the construction work that I thought.'”
You don’t have to be a veteran to be a part of the mission.
“You can always come do projects with us. You can always support us financially. These projects kind of seem weird people say, ‘Hey, you put dock in the world’s tiniest pond!’ Yeah, me and a guy built that in a day. We’d never built a dock before but we went and bought the stuff and that was kind of our way of talking about our experience while we pound nails,” Grover said. “My message is that this life is awesome, especially if you’ll just look for that purpose.”
Grover, who is a combat veteran himself, hopes to give his brothers and sisters in arms a place to find their purpose for many years to come.
“I by no means am qualified to give advice. All I can do is provide this. I’ve been blessed better than I deserve and I think really, what it comes down to, is this is kind of my healing, being able to help other guys. That keeps me grounded and what we found is, it keeps other guys grounded if we keep the ball rolling and paying it forward,” Grover said.
If you’d like to support Contact Front, they have a major fundraising event coming up. The event called “Ruck U” is slated for June 11. You can find details about the event on their website.