Veteran group to do humanitarian work in Iraq

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- A group of veteran Marines is planning a trip to Iraq to do humanitarian aid in the area.

"We do feel like this was our war. This was something that we went out there and started and we fought this war. And with everything going on in the region right now, it gives us a feeling of what did we do?" said Marine Andrew Jones.

He was in Iraq for "Shock and Awe," and is the co-founder of a non-profit called Squadbay that helps veterans transition back into civilian life.

"We realize that one of the things we lose is a mission and a sense of purpose, and so if we can give the veterans a sense of purpose again, then that helps with their healing process," said Jones.

The mission now is to offer humanitarian aid in places like Guatemala and the Philippines in just the past year. And now, the organization is planning a trip to Iraq.

"We're going to link up with organizations that are already in the area and use our expertise as veterans," Jones said.

They will work to help the people displaced by ISIS.

"Try to get their businesses back going, to try to get them to connect with their families again," said Jones.

Some four or five veterans will make the two-week trip this winter. And they have a very special guest. "Code Name: Johnny Walker" was an interpreter with the Navy Seals in Iraq.

It's a new mission for these Marines who want to not only help others, but also to help themselves heal.

"Now we have an opportunity to go back to the region, to bring back positivity and life and prosperity and to help them in a way that we weren't able to help them before," said Jones.

The mission will cost $20,000.

If you would like to donate, go to www.squadbay.org.