Nonprofit brings veterans and former professional athletes together to help each other – CBS Dallas/Fort Worth

Arlington, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) What do ex-professionals and veterans have in common?

It turns out, a lot more than you think.

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They are brought together by a non-profit organization to help people transition to a life outside of uniform.

“I think the hardest part is when you take off your uniform. You lose a part of your identity,” said Ben Deere, who served in the Air Force as an aircraft maintenance officer from 2007 to 2015.

Derry spent a year in Afghanistan, was awarded a Bronze Star and deployed to West Africa in 2014 to help fight the Ebola outbreak.

“I have great civilian friends,” he said, “but you lose the ability to have conversations with them.” “It took a few years through this and I didn’t really know what I needed.

Derry found what he needed through a nonprofit organization called Merging Vets and Players, or MVP. The group, made up of veterans and former professional athletes, meets weekly for a workout.

Incorporating vets and players at AT&T Stadium (CBS 11).

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Whether coming from the battlefield or from the football field, the struggles are similar. MVP gives both athletes and veterans that sense of team.

“We’re used to being with a team, we’re very conditioned to be with a team and that’s what I’m used to,” said former NFL player Rombie Bryant. “When I left football, that left.”

The focus is not only on physical health, but also on mental health.

After the group exercise, they talk about it.

There seem to be two different paths on the surface, but there is a lot of correlation.

“We understand the team, we understand relying on someone else to make sure you don’t get hit in the back,” Derry said. “I think all of these things come together, and when we get together after a workout, you’ve shared a sweat with someone and you automatically have a level of confidence that doesn’t happen often.”

Incorporating vets and players at AT&T Stadium (CBS 11).

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For more information on integrating vets and players, click here.

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