Hometown Heroine makes sure to give back

Hometown Heroine makes sure to give back

DANVILLE -- Sometimes a person can be heroic just by being themselves.
DANVILLE -- Sometimes a person can be heroic just by being themselves. That's the trick for one woman whose job it is to help soldiers coming home from war. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield has the story of this Hometown Heroine.

It's something which might seem impossible after coming home from war, but right from this desk, Jessica Pickett makes sure injured veterans in Central Illinois get back into society without a fight.

"It shows we know where they are and where they've been and we are here to help them."

The program at the VA hospital helps more than 2,500 veterans who've all recently left combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. Pickett helps them with simple things like finding the right doctor, filling out paper work or making sure they get through the complicated health system effortlessly.

"I really enjoy talking to the different veterans, hearing their stories."

Stories which are all to familiar to this former army soldier.

"I've encountered a lot of veterans. They just feel so frustrated by whatever is happening, and when I talk to them, their tone or attitude changes just because they know I am a veteran as well."

Pickett served five years in the army doing military intelligence. She was deployed to Iraq for a year, be decided helping others fit her better.

"I grew up with veterans. My grandfather was a Korean War veteran. It was always something I had in my life, so I just wanted to help out and give back."

What Pickett found out is that giving back isn't just doing her job, but building bonds to make the world seem a little smaller.
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