12 Vets of Christmas Day 4: Army Veteran MichaelDecember 18, 2023
12 Vets of Christmas Day 6: Army Veteran DavinaDecember 18, 2023
This blog post is part of HVAF’s annual tradition: 12 Vets of Christmas, where each day for 12 days, we feature a veteran whose life has been positively changed because of the essential services and programs your support made possible in 2023. Thank you for supporting HVAF and our veterans.
After the Army
After three years in Germany serving in the Army, Jeremiah (JJ) moved back to the United States to be with his wife and family.
But he had a hard time once out of the military.
“It was very tough. I was definitely drinking,” JJ said. “Working in construction, I knew it wasn’t something I wanted to do. I used that as an excuse for my drinking.”
When JJ’s company shut down and he received unemployment, his drinking began to negatively affect his life.
Journey to Sobriety
For years, JJ went in and out of rehabs, becoming clean and then relapsing again. During a period of almost 10 years sober, he received his Associate’s Degree in Human Services and Bachelor’s Degree in Substance Abuse.
Then, when he had just enrolled to get his Master’s Degree in Counseling, he started drinking again and ended up going to jail for a few years due to some poor choices. In 2020, after he served his time in prison, he moved into one of HVAF’s houses.
“(While in prison) I got involved with HVAF because I needed help trying to figure some stuff out and get my life back on track,” JJ said.
After a short period of sobriety, he began drinking again and moved out of HVAF. In 2021, he went to Landmark Recovery and after 44 days of treatment, JJ has now been sober for two years!
HVAF & Next Steps
And while he thought his chances of receiving his Master’s was over, he was able to go back to school and get his degree. During that time, JJ reached back out to HVAF and joined the VetWorks Workforce Development program. He spent Phase 1 in an internship at Recovery Café, completed recovery coach training in Phase 2, and his employment specialist helped him with job searching in Phase 3.
Today, JJ works full time at Landmark – where he last successfully completed rehab. He is helping those who are in the position he’s been in. He said his ultimate goal is to use his education and experience to serve veterans.
“Working with HVAF has strengthened my desire to work with veterans,” JJ said. “I wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for VA and HVAF.”
We can’t ensure veterans, like JJ, receive life-changing services to reach self-sufficiency without your support. Will you continue to support veterans in need and invest in the fight to end veteran homelessness by sending in your most generous gift by December 31st? Please send in your year-end tax-deductible donation to support Hoosier Heroes in 2024 .