JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The nonprofit Hope for the Warriors is helping former military members find a sense of purpose at its Wellness Expo this weekend.

Hope for the Warriors is a national organization that started in Camp Lejeune. The nonprofit hosted a Wellness Expo in Jacksonville on Saturday and offered a variety of classes and resources for local veterans.

Organizers say exercise gives veterans purpose.

“You know you have a mission to do in the military and there’s always adversity and there’s always challenges,” Ed Raimo, Hope for the Warriors, said. “So then when you step out, you kinda lose that.”

The expo featured a martial arts class for the veterans.

Some of the event organizers are military veterans themselves. Nate Luna was a gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps and says Jujitsu helped him transition back into civilian life.

“It was a good work out and when I did it, afterwards I would feel so much more calm and at peace,” Luna said.

The expo also featured local vendors. Some of the booths represented companies that are veteran run and support military members.

Overall the event was about raising awareness for the work Hope for the Warriors does for the military community.

“Helping them to restore their self, their family and you know, to give them hope,” Luna said.

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