by Dr. Chad Audi
This month is set aside to remember our nation’s veterans and salute them for the major sacrifices they have made for our freedom. Yet, too many of our veterans find it difficult to adjust to civilian life when they return home from military service.
They need help coping with issues such as substance abuse, alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), unemployment, homelessness, and crime. The most recent national statistics show that as many as one in ten inmates have served in the military. And, the Department of Veterans Affairs says about 20% of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD.
We just received good news here at Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) in our efforts to help our military heroes. DTE Energy Foundation announced a $25,000 grant to support our programs for veterans and teen moms. We house veterans at one of our facilities and assist them in getting permanent housing and acquiring marketable job skills. We also provide medical care, addiction treatment, and counseling to help veterans achieve sobriety and recover emotionally from the disturbing sights and sounds of war.
Our veterans need help returning stability to their lives.
They didn’t turn their backs on us when it came to fighting for our rights and wellbeing. Now, we must not turn our backs on them.
It’s the least we can do for our nation’s heroes.
Dr. Chad Audi
By Dr. Chad Audi
This is the time of year when families everywhere are celebrating graduations. It marks an important time in a person’s life. He or she is ready for the next big step in their academic or professional careers. But there are many other types of milestones that a graduation can commemorate.
Recently, the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) celebrated the “life” graduation of 437 clients at its newly-renovated Banquet Hall/Conference Center in Detroit. Some had completed at least 90 days of substance abuse treatment. Others had completed job training and educational classes. Some were moving on from DRMM’s transitional housing programs. And others were happy to have earned their GED. The energy and enthusiasm in the room was unbelievable.
Just like a high school or college graduation, the DRMM graduates had proud family members in attendance to cheer them on. They all received certificates. But unlike a typical graduation where you get a diploma and you already have your next plans made —or perhaps you’re not sure if you’re going into your chosen field of work — this was a graduation where the graduates are regaining their lives and celebrating a rebirth. They are starting out on a new venture in life. And believe me, it hasn’t been easy.
At some point in their lives, many of the people participating in DRMM’s graduation had lost all hope. Some of them had attempted suicide and slept in vacant buildings, under bridges, in cars and on the streets. They were prostitutes, drug addicts, alcoholics, criminals and the impoverished. But after they came to the Detroit Rescue Mission, they received another chance and another outlook on life. Their past didn’t matter; just their future.
The DRMM graduation celebrated “change.” These graduates are getting a fresh start in life. Approximately 80 percent of them now have a full-time job or are going to school. The other 20 percent are on the road to recovery and a new life by remaining clean and sober. Congratulations to all of the DRMM graduates for your accomplishments! We share in your joy.