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In 1999 at the Dorn Veterans Administration Medical Center in Columbia, SC The South Carolina Combat Veterans Group, Inc (SCCVG) started as a therapeutic organization for returning combat veterans who had served in the Vietnam War.  Over the last 22 years, this organization has grown to more than 500 veterans from the Vietnam era with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries.  Upon the enormous growth of this organization, this group had outgrown its capacity at the Dorn VA Medical Center and therefore found a need to assist all South Carolina veterans and their families outside of the VA system.  A small number of these veterans felt a stronger desire to serve in their communities to make a difference. With the guidance of both Mr. Tommy Olds (Vietnam 1968-1969) and Mr. Larry Smalls (1967-1969), they started the South Carolina Combat Veterans Group, Inc. Under the direction and leadership of Commander Tommy Olds, two units were created across the state of South Carolina; Sumter, SC, and Georgetown, SC. Commander Olds also introduced an extension group in Kansas City, MO. This organization provided therapeutic and spiritual sessions that taught coping skills which enabled veterans to readjust their mindset towards transitioning into a non-combatant civilian lifestyle. This technique enabled the veterans to realize their family members were affected by and sometimes unable to readjust from wartime stresses.  Cdr Olds provided a holistic approach to their former training and welcomed family members into the organization.  These sessions redirected and enhanced the former wartime lifestyle of the returning Vietnam veterans to a new and calmer lifestyle adjustment, and now many are adapting to a new life because of the fellowship with those who have served.  We focus on not feeling guilty because we returned alive, but rather focus on understanding we returned to share with others that we are here to ensure their adjustment will ensure they will focus on healing to help others.

For the past 20 years, divorce rates and suicides have decreased vastly. Fifteen years ago, Cdr. Olds began welcoming all veterans, regardless of their campaign service era to ensure “No Veteran will not feel alone.  These veterans have joined together and are now very active within the Columbia area and throughout South Carolina. In 2013, the SCCVG began working within the local school district starting a community mentorship program (Hyatt Park Elementary) and the Richard Wright Academy in Washington, DC.  These veterans started the Adopt A Grandparent Program at Hyatt Park Elementary School in Columbia, SC to include a No Hoodie Policy, which was quickly adopted by the elementary school.  The SCCVG, Inc. also implemented an FAA Certified Drone Program under the leadership direction of Dr. Russell David, a Widows Support Program, a Senior Corp, and supports the Department of Juvenile Justice program in Columbia, SC.

In 2002, the SCCVG, Inc. established the motto, “All Gave Some, Some Gave All and Those Remaining Still Do”.  Our commitment is to always honor all veterans and their families with dignity and respect.  This motto serves as our annual pilgrimage to Washington, DC in honor of the fallen veterans at the Vietnam Memorial Wall and any veteran through the last campaign of service.
On Tuesday, October 1, 2024, SCCVG Inc. will be traveling to Washington to keep that promise. And we are in need and require your assistance to meet this endeavor.


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