Our Baltimore Team, together with Mission BBQ, gathered at The Baltimore Station to serve food and socialize with the residents of the veteran rehabilitation program. Over a half dozen Team Baltimore members volunteered their day to serve food and hang out with veterans from every war dating back to Vietnam.
The Baltimore Station is “an innovative therapeutic residential treatment program supporting veterans and others who are transitioning through the cycle of poverty, addiction, and homelessness to self-sufficiency.”
Focusing on what they know, The Baltimore Station says, “It’s not a battle. It’s a war. We concentrate on helping those we know most about – those we can do the most for – men who have valiantly served our country and have fallen on hard times. We know that they suffer a special kind of hell, often returning to society with the effects of combat – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – often turning to drugs to silence the trauma. We know the cycle that can spin out of control, leading to poverty, estrangement and homelessness. We know that it takes a highly structured environment to break that cycle because our program staff is in recovery themselves and half are veterans. Recovery is not a “quick fix” battle. It’s a long tough war.”
Both the residents and the volunteers enjoyed good food, great conversation, and some laughs over a great veteran-based card game. This event was so successful that we’re looking forward to locally partnering more frequently.
Operation Supply Drop volunteer and USMC veteran Joey Richardson said, “Interacting with the residents of the Baltimore Station rehabilitation program was a humbling experience. Hearing their stories of their lives in service to their country, their struggles to reintegrate after hanging up the uniform, and their successful recovery through the Baltimore Station will be something I will never forget. The simple act of using our free time to bring the residents great food and amusing conversation has such a visibly positive impact on the mindsets of the residents. I am looking forward to many more events like this.”
Overall, more than two dozen veterans enjoyed this event. We gained great awareness for our team, and several residents requested information on how they could give back by joining our Team after completing their program at The Baltimore Station.