Bill grew up in an abusive home and started drinking at age 15 to cope.
A few years later, he joined the Army to try to get away from it all. But combat, including two years in Desert Storm, left him further traumatized.
“I’ve heard the enemy screaming while trapped inside tanks while they were being burned alive,” he says. “I’ve had my own company people die in my arms.”
Bill kept drinking to deal with his PTSD.
When he retired from the Army, things looked more promising … till his 23-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver — on Father’s Day. Bill started drinking even more heavily to deal with his pain. Along the way, his marriage fell apart as well.
His daughter’s death “knocked me down to the point where I didn’t care if I lived or not. I hit rock bottom,” Bill says.
Fortunately, he was soon arrested on a DUI — fortunate, says Bill, because he was likely looking at another tragedy: His own.
“I think the good Lord meant for me to get busted,” he says, “because that’s how I ended up here.” Bill believes God literally led him to the Kokomo Rescue Mission.
“I had nowhere to go for help,” he says. “I felt a hand on my shoulder and I heard a voice say, ‘This is your time.’” Before he could figure out what was going on, a couple pulled up beside him and asked if he needed a ride to the Mission.
“I don’t know who they were,” he says, “but they brought me here.” He now says he believes they were angels. Still, Bill says he was scared to death when he first arrived at the Mission. “I didn’t know how they were going to react to me,” he says. “But they treated me like a human being, and they have helped me ever since.”
Bill went through the recovery program and has remained sober. He’s on Mission staff now, as a leadership supervisor at their warehouse.
“This is the first thing I can actually say I’ve stuck with and accomplished in my life,” he says. “My health is better, I’m not stressed out, I’m not angry anymore.
“I’ve accepted Christ into my life, and it’s a wonderful feeling.”
When you give hope for a better tomorrow, that’s a wonderful feeling, too!