I met Jim when I first arrived at Helping Up Mission 14 years ago. He had already graduated from our 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program before I arrived and was working for us every day.
Jim served proudly in our Armed Forces during Viet Nam and, as you can imagine, saw and experienced quite a bit of things not naturally conducive to one’s health. He battled addiction with drugs and alcohol for many years after that.
Growing up with a loving church-going family in Baltimore, Jim knew he needed help and had heard about HUM. After arriving here, he got into it – like he did in the military – and spiritual recovery worked for Jim.
He moved on from here and worked for another decade in the community before retiring, continuing to work and walk his recovery. But, in 2012, things got a little difficult and the old Marine lost his way for a bit. We all know to what that can lead!
Jim knew where he should go to regroup, but after graduating from here and having a dozen years of good clean time, he was embarrassed. Yet, like a good soldier, he came back and before long the crusty old Viet vet was back in form!
He calls it like he sees it, and I don’t always like to hear what he is going to say, but I know and love Jim. He graduates at the end of this year and has some wonderful plans lined up – right after he gets his new teeth through the HUM dental program!
One Vet at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers