COLUMBUS, Ga.- Across the country, soldiers returning home from combat find it tough to return to their normal lives. A nationwide group is helping to make that transition easier, and there is a chapter in Columbus. The group is called Team Red, White and Blue, but it’s better known as Team RWB. It is a group dedicated to making life better for veterans.
Yanira Wardlaw served her country four years in the Army. A short time after leaving the service, her and her husband were stationed to Fort Benning. She learned about the group and joined. “When you’re in the military, you’re used to having that support of a group,” Wardlaw said. “You get out of the military and that’s gone. You need somebody there to support you like RWB does.”
Team Red, White and Blue had a strong contingent of athletes at the Chattahoochee Challenge and Olympic Triathlon. Athletes from all across the Southeast participated in the event. But for two veteran volunteers, their service after serving in the Army has connected their lives.
Army veteran David Nolan, who began serving at the end of Desert Storm, shares a similar story to Wardlaw.
“When I first got out of the service, I started gaining a lot of weight and I started getting involved with some of these people and it motivated me to start walking, then I started running and then I started competing in races,” Nolan said. “Started with 5k’s, and saw all of these people down here on the river doing triathlons and thought, ‘you know it might be fun to try something like that.”
In addition to enriching the lives of veterans, the group wants to make a difference in the lives of civilians. Candy Martin is a civilian-member and she says, “Anybody can come and join. You will feel welcomed. You will feel at home. I just met her a little over a month ago, I guess, and I just feel like we’re friends. I feel like I’m friends with everybody. When you don’t have a friend, Team RWB is your friend.”
Adding to this, Wardlaw says, “You can pick up the phone and if you want to talk to somebody, they’re there right away. They can drop whatever they are doing and help you out with whatever you need, no matter how big or small it is.”
The group is free to join. If you are interested in joining, click here.