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A Veteran and Widow’s Story – Embracing life again

A widow of a soldier, and a veteran herself, called Vets4Warriors. When the peer first spoke with her, she was very distraught. Nothing in her life seemed to be going well. The wastewater plumbing in her condo was frequently getting blocked due to having been poorly installed, she had no friends, she was worried about money, her religious congregation was a hostile environment, friends had abandoned her, and she had few interests. She had no family support because she lives in Hawaii and her father and daughter live on the mainland.

When the peer and Veteran first spoke, he found she had been calling Vets4Warriors frequently. Their first conversation consisted of her complaining about every aspect of her life. She complained bitterly about her relationship with the congregation to which she belonged, and the peer was able to sympathize with her having had a similar experience.

During the subsequent months, she began calling every week, and calls to other peers became less frequent. They talked about a lot of things and the peer was able to support her breaking away from the hostile environment of her religious congregation and getting over a breakup with her long-term boyfriend. The peer advised her on how to get her plumbing issues addressed and how to interact with others to achieve her desired results. The peer continued to provide emotional support, acknowledge her, and praise her. Gradually she became less upset, sought professional help at the local VA, began volunteering with the local VA hospital, and eventually told the peer about friends visiting her from the mainland.

Now she has become the charming, optimistic person she had previously been. The peer learned that she has plans to travel overseas and spend some time with her family on the mainland, and then spend five months in a meditation center in North Carolina. She now has a positive attitude toward her life and is a much happier person than when the peer and she first spoke. She now sees opportunities rather than obstacles in her life.

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