We have it in our power to honor veterans every day of the year. Providing care and having empathy for the hardships of life is how Family Eldercare does it. In honor of Veterans Day, we want to acknowledge the stories of sacrifice, struggle, and resilience we hear from the veterans we serve. William’s is just one of those stories.
Hailing from the Piney Woods of East Texas, William-age 72, is a Vietnam veteran. He was a proud Marine who earned many commendations including the National Defense Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross.
But, the war took a mental toll on William. He found life hard after his discharge. He was not able to keep his family together and could only manage odd jobs. After losing his leg in a train accident, William hit rock bottom. So many things seemed to be going against him. He tried to numb his pain by drinking and eventually became homeless. Since returning from Vietnam, William struggled with untreated mental health problems, made worse by living life on the streets for so many years.
We met him on the streets when he was 67. William got help through a partnership with Family Eldercare, the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, and Integral Care. You’ll be happy to hear that after decades of struggle, William finally received the mental health services he badly needed. And, once again, he has a place to call home. This time, however, he’ll also have the support he needs from our Housing & Stability services.
William quit drinking and has worked hard to rebuild his life. One of the goals he is currently working on is getting a dog. He’d love to have a loyal friend to keep him company. It took William a long time to understand how much his mental state was affected by the trauma of war and homelessness. But today, he knows he doesn’t have to go through the bad days alone.
Do you want to help?
Right now, you can support William and other Central Texans through the Holiday Giving Drive. Your donation can help William prepare his home for a dog or support other aging Texans needing assistance.
*to protect his privacy, we changed our client’s name.