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"Dead Man Walking"

From our May Veterans Healing Intensive

I walked into (or say was dropped off at) H.O.O.V.E.S. as a “Dead Man Walking.”

I lost my 16-year-old son to suicide on September 22, 2021. Since his passing, all I have wanted to do was join him. I miss him so very much. This has affected every single aspect of my life. From my work, housework, relationship with my children, and even my relationship with the best damn woman to walk into my life. I came here as a very broken man. With nothing to lean on anymore, I looked at this as my last hope. Not sure what to expect at H.O.O.V.E.S., I decided to give it my all. Go all in. “What choice did I have?” is how I felt.

I learned, through this experience, that I have so much more to live for.

I learned how to approach things that come up in my life with an optimistic view and draw strengths from my past.

I learned, and the horses didn’t let me forget, to be grateful for the things I have; my other children, and the time I did get to spend with my son.

I know that I still have many challenges ahead of me. But, thanks to your sponsorship, the volunteers, and, of course, H.O.O.V.E.S., I now have the tools to process my grief, my past, my time in the Army, and all the guilt and shame I was carrying. So, I just wanted to say THANK YOU! I feel life breathed back into my lungs and a newfound purpose.

With all the love I have,

Brian Brase, US Army Veteran

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