YAKIMA, Wash. - The community of Yakima is coming together to let soldiers and their families know they are not alone.
Yakima County has a population of 1,600 veterans and a two-day conference at the Washington National Guard Armory aims to help connect people with services they need to live a better life.
Angela Traina does not want other families to go through what she did alone.
"That was pretty much the hardest one and a half years of my life, not knowing if my kids had a father. If I had a husband," said Angela Traina with Army OnceSource.
Angela's husband was on a mission overseas with his team when they were attacked by the Taliban, killing one of his fellow soldiers. Angela says after her husband's close call with death, she realized she had to make a difference for other military families.
"When something like that happens you're really at a point where you feel like you can't do anything. You're frozen, and it's hard to know if you're life is going to change. And I've had a lot of friends unfortunately that became widows very fast," she said.
"When a person serves, the family serves and usually for one there may be four, five family members in there that may need some coping mechanisms, some counseling," Alfie Alvarado with the WA Dept. of Veteran Affairs.
And that is what Tuesday and Wednesday are all about. People walked into the National Guard Armory ready to learn about different community services Yakima has to offer both veterans and their families.
People could get help with everything from PTSD, employment issues, and the overall handling of the military culture.
"It's exciting to see them take charge of their life and be successful," said Dave Brown with the Yakima County Veterans Program.
The conference will continue Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. Anyone who is interested is invited to attend, all the workshops are free.