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A Veteran’s Journey…

June 26, 2013

Misty, a veteran who proudly enlisted in the Army shortly after graduating from high school, had the dream of serving her country.  After enduring the physical and mental challenges of being a female in the military, she was the only one out of five females to graduate from boot camp and basic training.   Misty was fluent in Arabic and was sent to Afghanistan to work in the military’s Communications Department.

aveteransstory1With skills and determination, Misty found herself quickly moving through the ranks.  She served two 18 month tours in Afghanistan.  After her second tour, she was promoted to Sergeant and was heading the military’s Communication Department overseas; she was in charge of 136 troops.

During her last tour, she was injured by an Afghanistan child who stabbed her in both legs, hitting a major artery.  Misty was sent home to physically recover but soon discovered that after each tour, the biggest obstacle was recovering mentally. 

She sought help after her first tour, and again after her second, but her mental pain continued. Misty soon turned to alcohol to heal her mental wounds. Eventually, she was called for her third tour, but this time with her judgment clouded by the alcohol and her mental stability unraveling, she decided to pack up her family and hide. After two years of hiding in Massachusetts,

Misty was discovered by the authorities after she was pulled over for drinking and driving.

She was sentenced to five years in state prison and was court marshaled to Texas. While in prison, she would see the same faces leave prison but then return. It was at that point that Misty knew she didn’t want that for her life. She knew she would need to get clean and sober and stay that way.

After extensive research she realized that a recovery program was best for her and Volunteers of America Massachusetts’ Hello House for Women program was where she needed to be.  Misty was paroled from prison to her new home at the Hello House.  With the help of the Hello House staff Misty would start her new life as a sober mom, daughter, veteran, and friend. 

When Misty entered the program, she was lost; she felt alone and wasn’t sure who she was.  The only thing she did know was that she didn’t want to drink anymore. With the help of everyone at Hello House, Misty finally broke down and was able to open up and better understand her addiction. She found the groups at Hello House, like the Relapse Prevention group, to be the best support for what she needed. The program helped her repair broken relationships and taught her how not to react to certain situations, but instead call her sponsor.

Misty is now living in Shiloh House, Volunteers of America Massachusetts’ Sober Living program for graduates of Hello House. Her children have let her back in their lives, showing affection, love, and how important she is to them; something Misty always wanted again. Her relationship with her parents has been repaired and she stays in constant contact with them, especially with her mom.  Misty has a steady job but has bigger dreams of becoming a Drug and Alcohol counselor for those struggling with addiction. She wants to impact their lives and guide them on the road to recovery, the same way Hello House did for her.  Misty repeatedly said that she is “so thankful that the staff saved her that bed at Hello House.”

Misty is one of the 1,400 veterans that Volunteers of America Massachusetts helped last year alone.  Through our many programs we are helping men and women veterans struggling with addiction get sober, find or secure housing get the assistance needed for job placement, and receive mental health services.  At Volunteers of America Massachusetts, serving our veterans- is a priority and we want to provide them with the extra support and guidance they need along their journey.

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