After returning from active duty, many veterans face new battles on the home front.
Recently, we visited a local group who helped a veteran get back on his feet.
Neil Benson served as a Navy Corpsman with distinction and pride for decades, embedded with the Marine Corps at points across the globe.
“I did mostly physicals for the Marine Corps, I did sick calls for both the enlisted and the Marine Corps, I worked in labor and delivery,” explains Neil.
In addition to all that, Neil even got started in nuclear medicine. With his various experiences in the military medical field, Benson took care of his wife when tragedy struck.
“My wife had a hemorrhagic stroke in 2004, left her paralyzed and blind,” he told News 8. “And I refused to put her in a nursing home, I took care of her for 14 years at home.”
Leaving his job to provide full-time care eventually caused Neil to lose everything, with his wife tragically passing away last year. Neil turned to substance abuse during this downward spiral, nearly becoming homeless until he heard about Warrior Salute.
“When I first got here, it gave me a safe place to live,” he says.
A safe place, and a space for starting over with a full focus on self, body, mind and spirit. “I go to a therapist here, an individual therapist, and then we have a group therapist, we have yoga.”
Warrior Salute also has a spotlight on career development and getting veterans back into the workforce.
He says, “There’s help for us. You know, I was a little embarrassed coming to this place, I thought it would all be young guys, you know, and you just have to take care of yourself right now. I know it’s a cliché, but it is true. I had to forget about everybody and say ‘okay, Neil, take care of yourself.’ It’s something everybody has to do and there’s help, even for the older vets. We did serve our time and we deserve the help.”
The staff said Neil is performing marvelously here, and he hopes to wrap up the program shortly.