Robert had a plan. He had quit college after two years of studying communications but soon realized that he needed an education to get a good job. So he decided to enlist in the Army, serve his country, get some life experience then complete his education at Hannibal LaGrange University after he retired from military life.
The best laid plans however...In 2001 Robert was sent to boot camp at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
Then 9/11 happened and in October his training was fast tracked.
He was moved to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville Alabama for advanced individual training. Robert was then assigned to duty station in Fort Story in Virginia where he began working on a transportation battalion ship. He travelled the world delivering equipment to overseas destinations. “I really didn’t have the opportunity to see any of these places,” he said, “most of the time I never got out of the port.”
During that time Robert had some family issues arise and when his Mom took ill in 2003 he resigned from the military.
“From there I kind of spiraled out of control,” he said. “I did a lot of soul searching but I also got mixed up with bad people and bad things, like drugs.”
Robert was in his mid twenties when these sequence of events began and by 2015 he was in his thirties - jobless, homeless and out of hope.
Trying to climb out the hole he was in Robert reached out online looking for a veteran aid agency. He needed a job, he needed a home and he needed help.
It turned out to be his lucky day. He found Project Help and the name alone sounded like just what he needed.
He reached Sandy Mitchell, who the year before founded Project Help - an organization dedicated to assisting veterans facing unemployment, underemployment, financial hardships, legal issues, and physical and mental afflictions.
“She is an amazing woman,” Robert said of Mitchell. “I was in between homes so she met me at a motel, which Project Help paid for to get me off of the street. She brought me clothes and took me shopping for essentials.”
Through Project Help Robert got a job and a place to live. “She went above and beyond helping me with the big things like finding a job and a home but also with all of the little thing it takes to build a life.”
Robert says he has no regrets about the path that led him to where is is today. “I feel that I’ve grown and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without these experiences,” he said.
Most of all he is grateful. “Sandy Mitchell believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself,” Robert said, “now I want to give help back.”
Robert and vets like him need your help. Please donate to the Project Help “Hardship Fund” and help us help other veterans like Robert.