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Lance Corporal USMC
Boulder Crest Warrior PATHH

Imagine a mother separated from her son for months and unsure of the experiences he would have.  Like many mothers of military service members, Elaine was both proud and terrified as her son Josh, a Lance Corporal with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, departed for Afghanistan. When Elaine received news of her son’s return to the States, she was beyond elated. On the day she arrived to pick her son up, the anticipation was almost unbearable. As the Marines made their way from the armory to the field house, the door swung open, and Elaine could not take her eyes off Josh. She remembers bursting into tears and whispering his name in awe. "The overwhelming sense of joy and, yes, relief on his return is almost impossible to describe," says Elaine.

Little did Elaine know what the years ahead would be like after his return. Josh struggled. At one point, he even confided in his mom that he "shouldn't have come home." He would often say, "no one could help." After years of refusing to seek help and watching her son struggle, Elaine heard about the Big Red Barn Retreat (BRBR) training and programs. She believed Josh needed BRBR and would often forward him Facebook posts about the organization. As Josh continued to spiral downward, Elaine continued to hope and pray that her son would reach out to the organization.

Josh was evicted and moved back home and finally admitted he needed help.

Desperate to get him to BRBR as fast as she could, Elaine took the lead in communicating Josh's struggles to the BRBR team. The very next day, Josh arranged to meet Jason, a BRBR program guide, and he toured the BRBR property in Blythewood. Josh was a bit reluctant, but Jason had a similar tale and had completed the transformative Warrior PATHH (Progressive Alternative Training for Helping Heroes) at BRBR, so Josh decided to apply for the program.


Today, Josh has completed Warrior PATHH and attends many BRBR programs and fundraisers. Elaine now feels that her son has found some peace with his experiences. "Josh is in a better place now," says Elaine, "I know he still struggles some, but I don't think he is as haunted as he was." Josh Struggles Well, now.

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