I served 5 years in the Army as a Combat Engineer, my mission overseas was route clearance. During my time I had several IEDs detonate on my truck, “part of the job,” I told myself. When I got home in 2011 PTSD sank its teeth into me. I served three more years not getting the help I needed. I lost both my parents and my grandma during this time and all that did was push me down a hole I had no hope of getting out of. It lead to some self-destructive behavior and in turn my separation from the Army. I was immediately homeless with a wife who was 7months pregnant. We managed to get into an apartment just two days before our son was born. Instability would rear its head several times over the following years.
Operation Rebuild Hope took us in, in April of 2021. Since then, I have found a sense of community and purpose that had been missing for me since 2011. For the first time in a long time I didn’t feel an immense weight on my shoulders, which allowed me the chance to refocus myself on not just surviving, but thriving. I’ve just started to continue my education, getting mental help and starting on a new path for myself.
In February of 2022, I officially joined the ORH team on the peer support/community outreach team. Knowing I’m making a difference in helping my brothers and sisters find the stability and peace they deserve is helping me heal. I look forward to continuing to serve the community and building up Operation Rebuild Hope in our fight against veteran homelessness.