Black Veterans Find Hope Through Local Organization

PHL17 News

Every single day she strives to reconnect with civilian life. 

“My family and friends are big helps but they didn’t understand what exactly I was going through,” said Specialist Nafeesah Shah. 

Shah served 10 years in the National Guard before being deployed to Afghanistan as IT specialist. She got back home a few years ago and its been rough. 

“It became challenging because life had to go on without you,” she said. “So then you had to come home and be able to get accustomed to life again and that was very hard to be able to find out where do I fit in now?”

Shah was searching for someone she could relate to deeply. 

“You had to leave family, you had to leave friends, you had to leave college life,” said Specialist Shah. 

That’s when she found the National Federation of Black Veterans Network, based right here in Philadelphia. 

“It’s very inspiring to see that people want best for you, they are veterans so they went through what I went through,” she said. 

The organization that shares office space with the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP, does it all. 

“In the military they have it where you’re trained to do certain things but they don’t debrief you when you come back out organization is set up to help individuals to be debriefed and to regaining their footing back into the community,” said Commander Maury Singleton of the National Federation of Black Veterans Network. 

It helps veterans understand their benefits, does workshops about housing, drug and alcohol addiction, and it even helps Veterans find employment.. it started out as a very informal group helping other black veterans coming home… 

“Hey look, you know you’re qualified for this, this is where you go, we’ll help you with the paperwork,” said Sergeant Major Charles Brown of the National Federation of Black Veterans Network. 

And now its a been a functioning non-profit helping not only veterans but others in the community for more than 13 years. Shah was so touched by their mission and by how much they helped her get through, she’s now part of the organization and giving back too. 

“I’m able to use them as guides to help me walk through life and understand you know what, you’re going to get through this, because if they were able to get through this, you can definitely get through this so they gave me hope,” said Shah.  

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