I grew up moving from one location to another around the Pacific Northwest, which made it hard to keep stability in my life. After I failed out of school, I began to sleep anywhere that I could. When those doors started to close, which was shortly after 9/11, I signed up for the military.
The 82nd Airborne is where I forged some of the most important relationships in my life. After nearly a decade of service, I moved to Portland with my girlfriend (now wife), got a good job helping other veterans, and was about to be a father. That’s about the time the nightmares began and I began drinking my pain away each night.
I went to the VA and was diagnosed with PTSD and a TBI from my tours of duty. Although I was reassured that my symptoms could be managed by medications, things only seemed to get worse. A friend helped me get into the suicide prevention and mental health lock up for the VA. I then spent three months in an inpatient treatment program, where I learned to manage my PTSD.
Later, I was looking for a way to get back to helping veterans. When I saw Transition Projects was hiring a Veteran’s Peer Mentor, I jumped at the opportunity.
I was offered the position and went through the Mentor Program. I couldn’t have been happier to use my life experience to help others and make a positive impact on their lives. As a case manager and now the Emergency Operations Manager, I have the privilege to work with some of the most caring people I have ever met.