Reporting Mike Schuh
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Thousands of young, active duty military are in town for Sailabration. If you were to ask any of them if they ever see themselves as being homeless, it’s doubtful very many would say they do. Nevertheless, the stresses associated with warfare have led to more than 100 veterans here in Baltimore needing help.
Mike Schuh reports.
Clifton Wagstaff served three tours in Vietnam, and then his life took a turn with alcohol, drugs and homelessness.
“When I came here, I was living in the streets, drugs and alcohol took my life,” said the retired U.S. Marine.
Now, the Baltimore Station, a residential self-help program, is showing him how to get it back.
“So when you are here at the station you learn the reasons for your addiction,” said Kim Callari, director of the Baltimore Station.
As the program got ready for a thank you lunch for volunteers Monday, 50 active duty sailors and Marines showed up to work on building a rooftop garden and swap stories with the veterans.
“It’s good to see them. As soon as I saw them coming from the bus, the shape of the cover, they’re brothers, Marines,” said retired U.S. Marine Murray Decker.
“Their experience is what helps me make better decisions,” said U.S. Marine Jared Hatch.
Wagstaff is nearly finished with a program which asks the group of 144 veterans to make better decisions.
These veterans are glad the active duty were there and willing to help out.
“They leave the doors open. You want to walk out, you can. They leave the doors open. But if you want to get better, this is the program,” says Wagstaff.
The Baltimore Station is funded by the Veterans Administration and Baltimore City.