United Way wants to be one-stop shop for helping returning veterans

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Kyle Evans returned from war after two tours in Iraq with a traumatic brain injury, bad back, Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He also had a newborn son and no way to support him.

In some ways, he was more fortunate than most.

“I had what was called an Army wounded warrior advocate — somebody who was supposed to guide me through the system — which a lot of guys don’t have,” said Evans, 32, an Orlando resident who retired from the military in 2010. “But it was still really frustrating. You’re trying to get your family set up, to get a job, to create a whole new life. You don’t know where to start.”

The region’s United Way wants to change that. On Thursday, the nonprofit agency is slated to announce a wide-ranging veterans’ initiative called “Mission United” with the goal of being a one-stop shop for the 110,000 former service members in Central Florida and their families.

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