Meet Mr. Brown, a Veteran who grew up in West Garfield Park and enlisted in the Army in 1986. He served in Germany, Korea, Panama, and Desert Storm, and even attended the special military facility at Aberdeen Proving Grounds to learn about weapons of the world. After leaving the military, Mr. Brown moved to Memphis for his medical training to become a clinical cardiology assistant. However, life turned for the worse when he faced setbacks with illness and a difficult divorce. He found himself lost in the darkness, living in abandoned buildings and turning to drugs and alcohol to cope. In 2019, Mr. Brown was shot, which marked the beginning of his journey towards recovery. He found support from the VA and in-house treatment at VOA Illinois, where he met Lawrence Smith, a VOA Illinois employee who helped him transition into Hope Manor in 2021. With the guidance and support of the VOA staff, Mr. Brown found a new path in life. He discovered that there are people out there who genuinely want to help, and he no longer had to put up a wall. He learned to understand himself, and even discovered a knack for social services. In 2022, he became a peer support specialist who cares about the well-being of all the Veterans at Hope Manor. Mr. Brown is passionate about helping his fellow Veterans and is the glue to Hope Manor. Through his journey, Mr. Brown realized that every bit of encouragement helps. He wants to let other Veterans know that they don’t have to allow bad influences to keep them back.
Join us in celebrating Mr. Brown’s incredible journey and the incredible work of VOA Illinois. Thanks to donors like you, VOA Illinois can continue to provide support and resources to Veterans like Mr. Brown who need a helping hand. Your generosity can help change lives and make a difference in our community.