By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– For veteran Joey Pierstorff, setting and besting new goals is part of life. He set his sights on joining the Army after he watched the attacks on Sept. 11. Less than a year later, he was an 18-year-old soldier in boot camp in Georgia.
After two deployments in Iraq, life changed.
“I went numb,” Joey said. “I really didn’t care much about anything and started self-medicating with alcohol and anti-depressants. At work, I was a leader, and a good one. At home, I wasn’t there.”
A friend stepped in to steer him in the right direction.
“He introduced me to Wounded Warrior Project and told me what I was eligible for.”
Through Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), Joey immediately connected with other veterans and learned he was not alone in his challenges.
One program that has changed Joey’s life in the most profound ways involves a weekly phone call.
WWP Talk is a telephonic support program giving warriors and their family members the opportunity to talk weekly with a WWP staff member. Besides lending an ear, the program also empowers warriors to improve their situations.
“I had a Talk representative; I like to call him my coach. We had a connection from the moment I spoke to him. I felt like we were connected, and he made me feel super comfortable. I told him stuff I hadn’t told anyone ever in years.”
Part of the program includes setting goals. For Joey, that meant an education and getting back into the workforce, all with the help of his coach.
“He made sure I kept my goals realistic. He’d say, ‘That’s great you are going to get your bachelor’s degree, but what are you going to do beyond that? This is the beginning of your goal.’
“Knowing there is someone there that wants you to succeed; they’re not holding you accountable to be mean about it. They’re there to hold you accountable to be a better person.”
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more: http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.