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Gregory Peck's son heading veterans' group

March 17, 2013 at 11:42 AM

ST. LOUIS, March 17 (UPI) -- Stephen Peck, the son of the late actor Gregory Peck, said he is serving as president of U.S. VETS, a group that helps struggling veterans.

Peck, 66, of Los Angeles, said the group serves 3,400 veterans nationwide who have post-traumatic stress disorder, are homeless or unemployed.

"We're helping guys who survived wars but did not come home unscathed," Peck said. "Studies show that about 30 percent of vets come home having suffered from some kind of war trauma or brain injury that hinders the ability to reintegrate.

Peck visited St. Louis last week to tour the group's new housing unit, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

U.S. VETS purchased the apartment buildings for $575,000 and has spent $180,000 on renovations, the Post-Dispatch said.

Now about 20 veterans pay a small rent to live in the apartments, Peck said.

Peck was inspired to head the group after serving in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, and learning that the unemployment rate of veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq is higher than the national average.

"There are still guys out there who are exposed, and no one is taking care of them," he said.

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