Eric had it all. The Special Forces veteran exited the military to start a firefighting career. He had a wife, a home, and two sons. He also had PTSD, depression and a crutch—alcohol. One night in a drunken haze, he lost it all and gained a record of battery along with four other felonies.
“I thought the isolation and drinking was a phase. That I’d grow out of it. I didn’t know my brain was broken,” Eric said. He started his recovery in PTSD and ADATP programs at the Haley Veteran’s Hospital. He found a home at Drew Park. While living at the transitional housing for homeless people dealing with substance abuse, Eric took the time using Drew Park’s behavioral health services to look at himself.
“The time to think showed me how dysfunctional my thought process was about life. Instead of worrying about losing my image because I used to be a soldier I found that being a father, a brother and a son is what makes you a man. False bravado doesn’t work for me anymore,” he said.
Now sober, Eric and a friend are starting C.O.D.E. Fitness, a non-profit offering workouts and mentoring for veterans. C.O.D.E. stands for courage obligation determination and endurance. He attends Alcoholics Anonymous, he has a sponsor, he sponsors others. He and his ex-wife are friends, and he is spending a lot of time with his boys.
To find out more about Drew Park, visit ACTS website.
5707 N. 22nd Street Tampa, FL 33610 P: (813)272-2244 F: (813)272-3766