Growing up, Michael’s mother often joked that if he got a cut, he would bleed red, white, and blue. She called him the most patriotic kid around and he proudly followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, serving 25 years in the United States Army. His service included multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning him a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for valor.

However, Michael’s life changed forever in an IED ambush in Afghanistan that nearly killed him. It left him with deep physical and emotional scars, and he witnessed friends – fellow soldiers who were also parents, spouses, and children – make the ultimate sacrifice. He was diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress (PTSD) and a traumatic brain injury. As he says, “I lost my sense of purpose.”

Like many veterans in his shoes, the transition back to civilian life was extremely challenging. The flashbacks, the what if’s, and the nightmares persisted. In an attempt to numb the pain, he turned to drugs and alcohol, which cost him his family and led to incarceration. He hit rock bottom.

Then he found Liberty House.

Path to Recovery

For many veterans like Mike, Liberty House is a haven that provides transitional housing and basic needs assistance to help them get back on their feet and lead purposeful and independent lives.

Liberty House serves two groups of veterans. Its transitional living program houses resident veterans who face challenges such as PTSD, traumatic brain injury, substance use and financial and housing instability. In the past year, 5,270 total nights of collective shelter were provided. Additionally, its community pantry serves veterans who need help with everyday items such as food, clothing, toiletries and other basic needs. More than 40,000 items were distributed in the past year alone, an 83% increase as the need for these services continues to grow.

Through the program’s action-oriented 4-step program, Mike worked on his recovery, obtained essential documents, connected with mental health counseling and set goals to build a career he’s excited about. Today, he’s been sober for over a year and is pursuing a career as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. He’s reunited with his children and has job offers in the recovery field.

“You come to Liberty House and get the feeling somebody truly has your back,” he shared. “I have that sense of purpose again. This is my second chance and I’m committed to making the most of it.”

Support Liberty House

Support veterans, like Mike, as they seek to take back control of their lives and build stability.