WARWOOD, W.Va. (WTRF) – From being homeless to owning a home.

It’s a path that may seem impossible to follow, but with help, you can reach the end. 

That’s the message of local veteran Jeffery Bishop. 

For several years he struggled, but in the past two he’s gone from sleeping in a lobby to sleeping in a house with his family. 

He credits much of his transformation to Helping Heroes.

“I had the knowledge and skill set to be able to help defend the country so, I put it to use.”

Jeffery Bishop, Veteran

Jeffery Bishop said he knew exactly what he signed up for when he enlisted in the Army in 2008 and deployed overseas. 

He had worked as a volunteer firefighter and EMT in different departments, but when the economy crashed he decided to join the military.

“I got to see Europe, see all of the world, meet all kinds of wonderful people, learn different and amazing cultures and experience things that most don’t get to in life.”

Jeffery Bishop, Veteran

Bishop couldn’t predict what life had in store after more than four years in the service. 

While now he enjoys a quiet afternoon with his family, it’s been a long road to get here, and it all started with a difficult transition back into civilian life. 

“It was really really hard.”

Jeffery Bishop, Veteran

Bishop was stationed in Germany. He explained his unit’s primary mission was to train NATO forces. The secondary mission was to deploy to combat zones.

When he exited the Army, he stayed overseas for a while after his deployment, but the struggle with PTSD and depression was overwhelming. 

Bishop tried to take his own life.

“We don’t seek the help that we need because of the stigmatism attached. We’re men. We fight in the infantry and we’re told, suck it up. That’s life. Deal with it. Once you come on to the civilian side, it’s different.”

Jeffery Bishop, Veteran

Eventually, Bishop did return home and started to get help through the VA, but it wasn’t enough. His anger sometimes still got the best of him. 

After spending a few years in jail, Bishop’s life started to turn around when he was released.

“Went from being homeless to now, I own a home in two years time and that was a long, long, long journey over the past two years trying to get my life back together.”

Jeffery Bishop, Veteran

It was when he was homeless that he found Helping Heroes.

Bishop credits their staff with saving his life. 

The organization helped with benefits, a place to stay, a job and set him on a path for success. 

“There’s no reason no veterans should be homeless. There’s no reason a veteran shouldn’t be getting the benefits and the mental health treatment that they need. Helping Heroes is there to help you get that.”

Jeffery Bishop, Veteran

Now Bishop and his family just purchased their first home.

As he settles into his new life he’s got a new mission to find other veterans in need and get them help. 

“It makes no difference what background you come from. It makes no difference what your financial situation is. If you have it in your heart to be a good person and you have the will to put effort into it and all your heart into it, you can go from flat broke to having a home with the benefits that you’ve earned through the military.”

Jeffery Bishop, Veteran

Bishop wants anyone who served and now suffers to know they are not alone and that there’s no shame reaching out. 

“I feel like this is probably the best second chance at life over the past two years to get to this point from starting the process of getting my benefits to buying this home or setting that. It was a long road. It’s not easy to do, but it is always worth it.”

Jeffery Bishop, Veteran

If you are a veteran or know a veteran in need of assistance you can reach out to Helping Heroes just like Jeffrey Bishop did. 

Their phone number is (304) 232-0114 or visit helpingheroesinc.org.