Resource Weekend Gives the Vitela Family a Path Forward

Vicente Vitela attended Project Sanctuary’s first-ever Family Support Resource Weekend in June 2019 with his wife. A Navy veteran who now lives in Denver, CO, Vicente shares his story of hope with us:

My wife and I will be married 30 years in December. We’re really strong in our marriage and commitment to each other. Our biggest motivation for going to Project Sanctuary’s resource weekend was trying to find resources for our adult son who is struggling with addiction.

Vicente during his time in the Navy.

I’m an ex-addict and alcoholic and, by the grace of God, I was able to quit on my own without any support besides my family. But I know my son needs more help. The A-Z resource lists are helpful, and I’ve done a lot of research on my own, but Project Sanctuary’s resource weekend was a turning point.

The camaraderie at an event like that never ceases to amaze me. A lot of times you think you’re the only one, the only veteran, and then you see other vets and hear their stories. You remember, “Wow, I’m not the only one.”

One of the program partners suggested I have a heart-to-heart with my son. They asked, “Has it ever just been you and him?” And I realized it’s always been kind of like an intervention with our whole family. My kids know my faults, my mistakes, and I’m looking forward to talking to him as someone who has struggled with the same issues.

The resource weekend was a great source of information. There were plenty of people there to point you in the right direction to give you support and guidance.

A lot of time, veterans get intimidated. You don’t know where to start. That’s the beauty of a program like Project Sanctuary. You have people who are not only plugged in and well-versed, but they can guide you through it. That is just a load off of people’s mind.

The Vitelas with their grandchildren in their Denver, CO, home.

From the bottom of my heart, and my family’s as well, we really appreciate all that you do for veterans. These programs are critical for anyone that’s struggling. When you get out of the military, you’re left to your own devices. We tend to self-medicate, self-diagnose. But it’s comforting to know these programs exist, because they’re critical for us.

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