U.S. Army Veteran
After years of trying to stay sober and out of trouble on his own, US Army veteran Melvin Williams came home and checked into the VA Medical Center at Memphis substance abuse program. For the first time in many years he understood what sobriety was all about. When it was time to leave the VA, he asked to be placed into a program that would help him maintain & grow in his sobriety. He was referred to Alpha Omega Veterans Services in 2004.
After about two weeks into his stay, he knew he was in a very special place. He was able to resume his duties as an Executive Chef by cooking for the Alpha Omega veterans. “Being surrounded by other veterans in recovery made it feel like a family,” he said. After finishing his program at Alpha Omega, he stayed with the agency to utilize his cooking skills in several of their facilities. He is now the Executive Chef at the Madison transitional housing facility, “Alpha Omega is my family, plus, I try to help these new guys.” He tells them, “I was just like you. You got to be 100% ready to be sober; even if you’re not ready by 1%, that 1% will get you every time.”
Melvin has not only maintained his sobriety for 17 years, he has also excelled in his personal life. He moved closer to his mother to care for her as she ages in place, he recently got his driver’s license renewed and got a car through an Alpha Omega donor. Yet with all this success he remains humble and does not plan on leaving Alpha Omega any time soon. “I still think of Alpha Omega as family, they are always there for me and now I am there for them.”