Marine Veteran, William’s (“Hal” to all of us) story literally starts at the end. His attempted
suicide in January 2011 did not end as planned; he had not planned on a Michigan State Trooper reviving him. He spent the next six months in the V.A. domiciliary care program receiving care for decades of undiagnosed PTSD from the Vietnam War. Upon release he enrolled in school to become a peer counselor only to have all hopes dashed in a near fatal motorcycle accident. This bend in the road resulted in him taking almost a year and a half of hard work to regain his ability to walk, talk and care for himself.
Having exhausted all family options during his recovery, he found himself homeless and living at the Friendship Housing Center. He first came to Patriot Place as the Chaplin with the Forgotten Eagles to deliver a donation check with the group. Two days later, on 12/12/12, he moved in. “It was the best move I ever made,” explained Hal.
Over the past ten months, he stayed the course, attending classes on housing, employment and budgeting as well as continuing cognitive and physical therapy, and enduring another surgery. Through recommendations from the VA liaison, program staff and his physician, he also attended Peer Support Specialist Training through the VA. He has utilized that training to lead a peer support group at Patriot Place on coping strategies and has applied for his certification.
Hal recently received a Housing Choice voucher through Michigan State Housing
Development Authority, and is preparing to move into a beautiful apartment. He shared
his feelings about the upcoming move, “I am grateful. At the same time, I am conflicted
about leaving. I will truly miss everyone at Patriot Place.”
Hal is one of 67 veterans who have turned to Patriot Place since we opened our doors
in November 2011.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Hal on his recent certification as a VA Peer Support Specialist!
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