Even after Milton T. moved out of HVAF transitional housing and into his own apartment, he still returns to HVAF at least three days each week to attend HVAF’s Vet to Vet meetings.
The former Army recruiter and veteran spent 15 years moving up the ranks of the military and gaining more responsibility along the way. Once he finished his time in the Army, Milton encountered many difficulties transitioning back to civilian life. In September of 2011, after being in and out of treatment facilities, Milton came to HVAF, after facing more than a decade of drug use that led to homelessness.
“I told myself that Indianapolis was my last stop,” says Milton. “I was tired of moving around and chasing dreams. Just before coming to HVAF, I moved in with my granddaughter for several months. It was at that time, I realized I wanted to be good role model to her and the rest of my family.”
Milton is one of 15 veterans who meet each week. HVAF’s Vet to Vet program began in October of 2005, as a way for veterans to address issues that may arise within the home. When a veteran is admitted to the program, there are weekly meetings to discuss issues that may be affecting their lives.
“Many of the veterans share personal stories about the difficulties they face while trying to find employment in the community,” says Fred Young, HVAF’s peer mentor.
“We discuss how to handle stressful situations without losing everything they worked hard for and at the same time how to feel accepted among family and friends. One of the hardest barriers that some of the residents have is relapsing back to alcohol and/or substances. Vet to Vet is focused on one veteran helping another through sharing personal experiences and understanding of what the other is going through.”
During Vet to Vet meetings, Milton talks about his time living on the streets of Brooklyn where he says his drug addiction hit rock bottom. He also suffered a head injury during basic training in 1975 that went untreated, and he now receives medical care at the VA Hospital.
“2012 is a new start for me,” says Milton. “Moving into HVAF’s Warman Apartments and being amongst veterans has helped me understand my past and want to change my future. Attending Vet to Vet meetings has helped provide me with structure.”
Milton continues to live a life of recovery. He’s been drug and alcohol free for 9