Sense of Community

March, June, September, December

From poverty concerns to major policy decisions, this series dives beyond the headlines to provide in-depth coverage of issues facing people and organizations in the Ozarks. KSMU's team of reporters combine for 10 stories each quarter, to air the final weeks of March, June, September and December.

Theresa Bettmann / KSMU

For this afternoon’s Sense of Community series on Opportunities for Veterans, we’re in the municipal courtroom of Carthage, Missouri.  It has the typical judge’s bench, two tables for legal counsel, wooden pews for the public, and a bailiff. But this is no ordinary courtroom. It’s a veteran treatment court.

It begins with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.

As each person’s name is called—all veterans—Judge John Nicholas rises to shake each person’s hand, smile, and look them in the eye.

Jennifer L Moore / KSMU Radio

This morning in our Sense of Community series on "Opportunities for Veterans," we’re featuring a visit to a cemetery to learn about the funeral choices for veterans and their families.   

Hugh Myers is the director of the Missouri Veterans Cemetery of Springfield. On Wednesday when we met him for a tour, he was preparing for the funeral of a Navy veteran.

"With the earth burial and our cremation that’s in the columbarium, we are just at 10,070 burials here at the cemetery,” Myers says as he drives through the property.

Mike Smith / KSMU-FM

As the KSMU Sense Of Community Series continues, a continued look at social interaction opportunities for area Veterans, this time through membership in Springfield’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3404, located at Atlantic and National, in Springfield Missouri.

Mike Smith / KSMU-FM

June 9th was a warm and windy day in Springfield, and it was the day Kirby Wilcox Memorial American Legion Post 676, hosted an open house and grand opening ribbon cutting celebration at its new location, 2350 North Clifton.  The single story structure is also home to Women Veterans of Southwest Missouri American Legion Post 1214, and the Foxhole Bar and Grill.

Michele Skalicky

Bill (he preferred KSMU not use his last name) and his dog, Bella, are never far apart.  The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a companion and a service dog for the military veteran who served during the Vietnam War.  As he sat inside a local restaurant with country music playing over the speakers, the Springfield resident talked about Bella.