Manage episode 347681156 series 2798026
Sergeant Brett D'Alessandro returned home from a seven-month deployment in Afghanistan, thinking it was the end of a long journey. However, he soon realized that an even longer and more difficult journey filled with struggle and confusion lay ahead.
After a challenging deployment, Brett came home and was thrown into the process of reintegrating into civilian Life. He struggled to figure out his next steps - returning to school, finding a job, or continuing his military career. During this time, Brett was also struggling with his health - mentally and physically. His spouse, Alexa, was by his side but felt unequipped and uneducated in how to support him through this transition. A chance encounter with a homeless veteran on the streets of Rhode Island turned Brett and Alexa’s entire situation around.
Brett was on his way to a doctor's appointment at the Newport Naval Base in Rhode Island when he saw a homeless veteran by the side of the road. He took this opportunity to give the veteran his backpack from deployment, filled with socks and warm layers. This simple act inspired Brett to establish Backpacks For Life. He realized that the issue of homelessness among veterans was a nationwide problem that needed to be addressed. Brett was determined to help his fellow servicemen and women struggling with the trauma of returning home and not knowing where to turn.
Backpacks For Life (BFL) has been committed to supporting homeless and at-risk veterans since 2014 by providing backpacks and mentorship programs. The BFL team provides personalized assistance to veterans in need, helping them find the right supportive services. They achieve this through personal interaction that spans countless hours, as well as the physical distribution of backpacks. These backpacks serve as the first line of defense, representing hope and so much more to the BFL team.
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