I’m pleased to announce that I received official notification today from the Internal Revenue Service that our 501(c)(3) application has been approved!
A couple of months ago I reconnected with a friend who I’d grown up with. We had been out of contact for more than 20 years and I heard from her out of the blue.
As it turns out, we shared some life experiences – and a mission to help Veterans.
She shared her story, and the story of her son Daris with me and it hit home….
Her son Daris had been in the Marine Corps. He served well and did a great job until he was prescribed OxyContin for a minor injury. He was immediately hooked.
His dependence and habit grew over time until it consumed him and was cause for his discharge from the military. His shame was absolute and so he kept it a secret.
He returned to his hometown and tried to settle into his new norm – but the addiction was still there and he had to feed it. His habit grew overtime until he simply couldn’t afford to but the OxyContin off the street. At $300 per day every penny he had went towards his addiction until one day, for economic and availability reasons he tried heroin.
For only $30 per day he was able to chase the dragon.
He was obviously suffering immensely, his habits changed. No more gym, no more food, no more family gatherings. He finally came to his Mom to ask for help. She immediately put him in rehab – he received the help and was able to clean up.
Against all advice, he left rehab early. After all, he was young and confidant – he had gotten help but he felt he could handle this on his own.
A month after he left rehab, the dragon came calling. He tried it “just one more time” and it killed him.
Daris died on 12 November 2015 at the age of 23.
His mother, Melissa, founded “Project Daris” to raise awareness and campaign against drug abuse. She is truly a hero in every sense of the word and so, this Camino I will carry the dogtags that Daris wore in honor of Daris and his mother.
To learn more about PROJECT DARIS visit the website at http://projectdaris.com/
Tyler’s issues catch up with him and it leads to his discharge from the Army. He is lost and in despair but finally reaches out to his wife for help – and then discovers “Veterans on the Camino” and finds new purpose.
Tyler returns from Afghanistan but his problems only get worse –
Click the link to listen to the podcast interview by Dan Mullins – we talk about the origins of Veterans on the Camino. How I got here from there!