Just two weeks out of high school, Patrick joined the US Army and served three years active duty, three years with the National Guard, completed college and then  went on to officer candidate school.  After commissioning, he served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer for 13 years.  Following his time as an Army officer, Patrick continued his career as a civilian contractor for the Department of the Army, working on projects in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Medically retired in 2015, Patrick had a difficult time reintegrating back into society.  His military experiences had changed him and life became more challenging as a result, including major struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Patrick’s recovery included support through a hospital-based PTSD treatment program,  work as a teacher for at-risk youth and volunteering as a court mentor.  Another major change in his life was the addition of a devoted service dog.   Directed to SALUTE by counselors at the treatment program, SALUTE was able to help with mortgage payments, freeing up funds to handle other pressing expenses.

“It can be hard sometimes to persuade someone that they need a hand.  Many veterans live in the warrior mindset where we convince ourselves that we are entirely self-sufficient and to receive aid means weakness.  My SALUTE client advocate convinced me that this “hand” wasn’t a “hand-out” but rather a “hand up” – like reaching down to pull a buddy back up on their feet. 

We will never forget what you have done for us, never.  Thank you. ”                                                                      Veteran Patrick

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