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Today I’m Sober for 31 Years

JANUARY 18, 2019 | 3-minute read

John was just 21 years old when he went to Vietnam — and it was the first time he had ever been away from home. “It became very real right away.”

“I came on home and tried to put it behind me,” the U.S. Army Veteran says. He attempted to suppress the trauma through drinking and “doing a lot of things I regret.” Hearing songs that reminded him of Vietnam triggered his emotions, and he retreated from his family to be alone with his difficult memories.

“I didn’t know I needed help,” John says. “I just wanted to be left alone.”

It wasn’t until John noticed a co-worker who had gotten sober that he asked for help and joined a 12-step program. “I’ve been a member ever since,” he says.

I started feeling a part of something again. John, U.S. Army Veteran

John also joined a support group at a local Vet Center, where he found comradery with his fellow Veterans. “I became a part of the group,” he says. “We could identify with each other’s experiences in Vietnam.”

The strength in that bond has helped John maintain his sobriety. “Today I’m sober for 31 years,” he says. “It’s been a blessing in my life.”


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