Spring into Recovery,  April 8, Long Beach

Once a proud battleship, the USS Iowa is not only a floating museum at the LA Waterfront near Long Beach, but also a conference and community center.

On April 8th, the Veteran Peer Access Network partnered with Los Angeles Valley College to offer a day to educate Veterans and Military Families about substance use and chemical dependency. Veterans and their families came together as a community to remove the stigma of addiction, alcoholism and mental illness.

More than 300 people participated in the workshops, breakout rooms for discussion, and presentations by mental health and trauma specialists including Jim Zenner, LA County Department of Mental Health, and our own Shad Meshad, PTSD pioneer. OEF, OIF and Vietnam Veterans were present. 

With Shad were NVF staffers Gerald Hillard, Markham Anderson and Kathleen Reilly. Melinda Meshad and Shad hosted a breakout room where they presented Melinda’s program on trauma-informed training. Other breakout rooms were hosted by VPAN, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Families in Recovery, Narcan Training, the David Lynch Foundation – Transcendental Meditation and the UCLA’s Veteran Family Wellness Center.

This event was an all-inclusive look at the challenges and opportunities in dealing with addiction without fear of judgement. Meant to bring awareness and compassion to this continuing epidemic, Spring into Recovery was a day to focus on recovery and offer solutions to beating addiction and maintaining recovery. 

You can be a part of our mission to help Veterans by making a tax-deductible donation!

About the Author

Cathie Smith

A military brat, Cathie Sandstrom Smith has lived in five countries and ten states. She has written for the National Veterans Foundation since 1997 and currently serves as Writer/Editor as well as on the Advisory Board.


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