Richard has recently joined the St. Francis House family. He served as an aviation technician in the Marine Corps from 2004-2009. He began having nightmares about his time in Al-Asad as soon as he returned home. “I didn’t get treatment; I was a Marine Sargent. My gunny told me never to show weakness and to go to medical shows you’re weak. So I self-medicated instead.”
When Richard left the service, he went to Missouri State and then Texas A and M University and completed a degree in electrical engineering. Though he was able to remain working in his field, by 2017 his inhalant abuse had spiraled out of control. “I’ve been in various treatment programs since. Short-term programs first, then longer ones. I’ve realized I can’t live on my own right now. When I finished treatment at the VA, and they recommended St. Francis House, I came.”
Richard already has a full-time job in the custodial department at the VA, and that’s where he plans to stay for a while. “I want to keep things low stress for now and focus on my recovery. I like this area, and I like the VA here; it’s more welcoming than other VA hospitals. And I like being at St. Francis House; it’s a lot better than I expected. I like being outside the VA but still, have the support. Eventually I’ll go back to engineering, but for now, this is where I need to be.”
We’re glad you’re here Richard; welcome to St. Francis House!