My path to Operation Rebuild Hope really began when I joined the Army, where I also met my husband. I got out of the Army but my husband stayed in longer. I witnessed a lot of suffering in the military and not much support for mental health. A lot of things get swept under the rug. I found myself many times witnessing the worst outcomes for active duty and veterans. I wanted a change, I wanted to be part of that change. I searched for places I could be of help and didn’t really find much. I was met with warnings, closed doors, and unanswered calls. For a time I really felt that no one would give me the opportunity to get involved with making a change for veterans.
I first found out about Operation Rebuild Hope when our family came back home to Oregon. We had no support, nowhere to go, and were looking to better our situation and our lives. We heard about ORH and reached out to see what it was about. Well, they kind of adopted our family into their community.
Since then we have gone from clients to a part of the team. I love being a Peer Support Specialist! At first I helped the veterans coming through with just finding out what their immediate needs were and addressing them.My favorite part of my job is getting to directly work with the veterans. Seeing their lives change before my eyes and knowing all the wonderful people I work with that make it happen. Now I work with veterans on most levels of care from immediate needs like a ride or food to long term sustainability like VA claims and housing.
I wake up every morning with a smile on my face and happy to start my day because every single day at Operation Rebuild Hope I get to change a veteran’s life for the better and there is real joy and hope in my heart from doing so. I am blessed to be part of Operation Rebuild Hope.