Rick’s Story

Rick’s Story

My name is Rick, I’m 31 years old and from Cleveland, Ohio. My parents divorced when I was 11 so I grew up in a house full of women; my four sisters and a wonderful mother that provided a great and loving family. After graduating high school, I joined the US Army as an Airborne Ranger as we were about to invade Iraq after 9/11 and I loved it. I enjoyed the aspect of pushing my body and mind to the limits and found a brotherhood that I had never experienced growing up. I excelled through the ranks and was rewarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for my actions during combat, along with other achievement medals. I would have never left the Armed Forces, but after I sustained injuries in Iraq on my last tour, I wasn’t able to reach the physical requirements for active duty.

After five months in the hospital and serving my last three months on a firing range, I was honorably discharged. That’s when everything fell apart. I was left with an addiction to pain medication and alcohol, severe PTSD, loss of identity and a brotherhood that had grown apart of me. I spent years in and out of doctor’s offices, NA and AA meetings and six different rehabs. Nothing worked. I was at the end of my road and about to give up when I came to Teen Challenge and my true calling and journey began. When I arrived, I saw true, authentic happiness and joy, people delivered from their addictions and restored families full of love. I wanted what they had found!

I turned my life over to God and have since been delivered of PTSD, depression and freed from wanting to use drugs. I give God all the glory and praise! Since graduating, I am staying to intern and proudly serving in God’s army, helping others become free as well.

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