The Warrior Reunion Foundation Is Serving A New Generation Of Combat Veterans

“We want to let them know they have not been forgotten and we appreciate them.”

Warrior Reunion Foundation Group Photo


Veterans Day is a time to remember and honor the sacrifices of the brave men and women of our Armed Forces. No matter when or where they served, there is a bond between them which will never be torn apart. Sometimes that bond needs to be fortified through love, support and an understanding some veterans struggle more than others upon returning home. 

That’s where The Warrior Reunion Foundation (WRF) steps in. Formed in 2017, their mission is to reconnect combat veterans who’ve served together as a unit, with a focus on recent Global War on Terror veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Every staff member of the WRF is a combat veteran themselves. “Oftentimes, the bond that forms overseas is very strong and it’s debilitating when you come home and you feel isolated,” said Bart Cole, Executive Director of the WRF. “We want to reconstitute that family unit. Our tribe if you will.” 

More than 10 reunions have been held or scheduled this year which have helped reconnect over 1,000 veterans and Gold Star Families. To date, there have been over 30 reunions nationwide, all at no cost to the veterans. “We want to let them know they have not been forgotten and we appreciate them.” 

Too often these types of reunions for more recent veterans occurred only at funerals and Memorial Day. The WRF wanted to change the narrative and be the support system for a new generation of heroes.

“VFWs and Legions were fantastic for the World War II generation where 12 percent of the country served. Those veterans served together in the same areas with a large population when they returned home. There was a lot of commonality of experiences with that generation,” said Charlie Williams, WRF Program Director. 

“Today with less than one-half of one percent serving, when we transition we get friends, but there is still a little bit missing. People appreciate your service but they can’t understand you or know you the same way those that served know you. From my experience, the reunions we hold are quite special and I think the only place you can feel completely comfortable is back around those people,” Williams added.

The generational disconnect can at times be more pronounced around Veteran’s Day as people tend to remember parents and grandparents who served generations ago in World War II or Korea, and less so those who more recently came home from the front lines. “A lot of Korea veterans are gone and Vietnam veterans are in their 70s and 80s now. It seems there’s a little bit less credibility as people from the outside view a veteran’s service. There is a different level of viewpoint for more recent veterans,” said Williams.

“It’s OK, because everybody does their time,” echoed Cole. “For me it was hard to be thought of as a veteran initially. I think there are a lot of men and women of our generation who feel the same.” There is a story and a human being behind every uniform. The stories and people are all different, but the needs are the same. “We are not broken, we just need each other,” said Williams. “Veterans have social isolation issues which need to be addressed. We believe the WRF is the best way to immediately address that and hopefully it opens the door for veterans to seek out other things that may help them further.”

For more information on the WRF visit their website at or follow them on Twitter @WarriorReunion.

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