Meet a Veteran: Jose

joseMy name is Jose and I am a Vietnam veteran who was drafted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1973. I served five years and then returned home and settled down in Chandler, Arizona. I have a large and extended family, with ten grand-kids, but problems with drugs over the years have caused burnt bridges with my family. My drug use also made it hard to keep a job.

I’ve tried to overcome my problems, but for the last several years I’ve been stuck in a bad cycle. Just when I seem to get back on my feet, and start reconnecting with my family, I relapse. Separated from my family, I’ve been living with friends and cousins for years now.

About a year ago, I became very depressed and hopeless. I read a flyer about the veteran Stand Down in Phoenix.  I went to the event and met a representative of U.S.VETS.  We discussed my needs and developed a plan that would provide me with housing and substance abuse treatment, and an opportunity to save my SSDI income for a down payment on a permanent housing apartment.

After several months in transitional housing at U.S.VETS – Phoenix, I was approved for a HUD VASH voucher and got a new apartment. I have been able to put money into savings and stayed drug-free. My health has improved, I fixed my car, and have reconnected with my family. U.S.VETS also helped me get some furniture for my new home.

Now that I’m back on my feet, I can focus on my goals for the future: to remain sober, save money and become a better father and grandfather.

I pray my story gets to a veteran that feels like there is no tomorrow, and that they use this as a tool to turn it around.  Thanks U.S.VETS – Phoenix staff for all of their help.