“The Enemy is Out There”

Dwayne (not his real name) served his country from 1977 through 1980 as a truck driver in the Army. Born in Chicago, but raised in Mississippi, he joined the Army at nineteen years old. After leaving the service, he married and had two children and with his ready smile and positive outlook, it’s hard to hear the rest of his story. He got in with a bad crowd and in addition to drinking, took up the latest street craze, crack cocaine. “I just spiraled down. I would get a job, lose a job, straighten up, go back to it again. I finally told my wife that she should divorce me and find herself a good man and I left.”

Dwayne has continued his battle with addiction. “I’ve been in rehabs all over, from Alabama to Missouri to here.  I’ve been at Fort Root in Sober Living, Hoover House, Promise Center, and here at St. Francis House. I’ve worked at the VA, been sober, and relapsed again. If I wasn’t in the VA, I was in a crack house or on the street. To make things worse, I had a stroke while I was at 2L the last time and I’m still recovering. Last September, I realized I was just too old and too tired. I just thank God the VA never gave up on me. I’ve been clean now for eight months.”

Today Dwayne is trying to find an apartment and waiting for a pending court date. He’s hoping to find a part-time job to help with finances. “Mainly I’m staying sober and working my program. I haven’ been able to go out but I do Bible study every day and go to online services. I read my NA book and stray around positive people who value staying clean and help hold me accountable. The Veterans here have good discussions and talk about positive things and that helps. St. Francis House is a good place to go, but you also have to be determined and have your mind in the right place. The enemy is out there, whatever your weakness is,  and you have to be wise enough and strong enough. I pray and read God’s Word and that helps me stay on course.”