Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Above & Beyond: One Combat Veteran Finds a New Focus

Today's blog is written by Austin, a member of the United States Navy and a participant of the Above & Beyond Program with Hope For The Warriors®.  Austin shares the purpose and success that he has found since attending the program, only four months ago. 

Just a few months ago, I was placed on a medical evaluation board that resulted in my being involuntarily separated from the United States Navy, due my extensive injuries sustained while serving.
At first I felt abandon by my unit; I wasn't receiving the guidance that I need to properly transition from military life into civilian life. I did however receive instructions to attend GPS, the mandatory transition assistance program provided by the Marine Corps, but the course was rushed and over loaded. I completed the course with increased anxiety, uncertainty, and an overwhelming feeling that I had an unrealistic amount of prep work to transition smoothly.
Shortly after this, I was transferred from the First Marine Division to the Wounded Warrior Battalion West to recover from surgery and focus on my mental and physical health, both of which were continuing to deteriorate rapidly. With depression taking hold, I began considering options for myself that were previously unthinkable. I had become exhausted, frustrated, and hopeless; all of these were compounded by losing my identity as a Navy Hospital Corpsman.  I had no idea what to do with myself. I just wanted it to end. Hinging on the idea of giving up the first time seemed like a feasible option.

In the following week, I came to hear of a program that was specifically structured around assisting military personnel with their transition out of the service. At first, I was skeptical of this program being any more effective than the course I had just attended through the military. The first day I attended the Above & Beyond Program through Hope For The Warriors®, I was greeted by a friendly professional staff. We immediately dove into the course starting with identifying our individual personality types followed by endless opportunities to network and obtain a variety of resources, to include actual job offers and take part in educational programs.

Through all of this, I found myself feeling much more in control of my future, but still unsure of what I might do after transitioning out of the military.  That is until the staff of Hope For The Warriors® introduced me to a representative of an educational program called the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program (VSAT), through Archi’s Acres, Inc., which was presented near the end of the course; that’s when the tumblers literally fell into place. I was enrolled into the program by the staff of Hope For The Warriors® right there on the spot. This led to an extremely challenging course that took me from suicidal ideas to developing an actual company that is estimated to generate 1.6 million dollars within the first five years. Hope For Warriors® reintroduced me to life and gave me something to strive for.  Thanks to this program, I am returning to society as a quality citizen, and in the very near future, as a job creator.

I couldn't image the path I may have taken without the influence of Hope For The Warriors®. They have made hope possible for me again. This is just an example of one area the organization provided assistance in for me and my family, and I couldn't be any more grateful nor could I think of a more capable group of professionals to assist military personnel and families with their transition.  I found this to be a true hope for our military personnel and their families, given programs like this one rather than with slow moving one size fits all government programs.

Learn more about the Above & Beyond Program

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1 comment:

  1. One of many veterans that have a successful transition from a active military war zone to everyday life as a civilian!! I only wish the Vietnam vets could have had the same opportunities given to them!! Thank you "Hope For The Warriors" priogram!