The Path Home: Ten years of veterans helping veterans

GREENSBURG, Ind. - An organization formed to get veterans help and provide a variety of services has served central Indiana for ten years.

The Path Home was formed in 2008, and became a non-profit in 2010. The organization's founder, Bob Luenebrink, spent time serving in Iraq and wanted to find a way to continue to help his brothers and sisters in the military.

"When I came back, I struggled with being the guy that got to come home and someone else giving their life," said Luenebrink.

With some advice from a friend, the veteran started The Path Home. It has since helped nearly 3,000 veterans from Decatur, Hancock, Hendricks, Marion and Shelby counties.

"We make sure they’re an honorably discharged veteran and we do a criminal background check," Luenebrink said. "Then we go try to figure out how to help them. Our goal is to help within 24 hours of the phone call. No government agency can do that."

The help can differ drastically from case to case.  Earlier this month, U.S. Army Reserve veteran Robert Koons had the first of two foot surgeries. His other foot goes under the knife later this month.

Doctors told him he needed to keep his weight off his foot as it healed and suggested he get a knee cart.

The  Path Home got word of Koons condition and had a cart donated to the veteran within 48 hours.

"I never really asked for it, just mentioned I had to have surgery and they stepped up and two days later he had it," said Koons. “They're recognizing people who have served in the service and whenever they are in need, they step up to help you out."

Over the years, the organization has raised more than $300,000 from donors to support the cause. That does not include grants and other government financial assistance it has found over that time.

Grants like the one found for Army veteran Tim Seroka.

“I suffered a stroke in 2016," said Seroka, who added money from disability would take six months to arrive. "I was way behind on my rent, my utilities, and they were there for me. They just come through that fast. That’s the biggest thing about The Path Home, when they get the call, they are on it. They secured a $2,500 dollar grant for me to get all that caught up."

Seroka volunteers with the organization, too.

American Legion Post 129 in Greensburg is holding a benefit for the non-profit Saturday night, starting at 8. Money raised by service-member organizations stay in the county there were collected. When a veteran is in need, those funds are used to help.

Other projects have included fixing cars, building a backyard fence, covering phone bills and helping veterans get a new job.