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A few days after returning home from the Legacy Program, Josh Acevedo just could not shake the nagging feeling growing inside. His stubborn nature had fought it off this long, but no longer. “I was not only stubborn, but I was against helping others and felt that those who were struggling were weak.” But he was unable to free himself from the persistent conviction to finally be someone who helped others. “I realized that I was weak and needed to extend my hand and help wherever I could.” Josh found volunteering for the leadership training at Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs not only creates opportunities  to help “the next guy,” but it also positions him to grow in his faith as he is around “Christians and warriors of faith [which] help redefine my purpose and strengthen me while helping those who are where I was.” But it was a difficult road for him to get to this point.
Not too long ago, Josh was in a downward spiral after losing his dream job in the Marine Corps. He began chasing everything else to make up for it. Josh shares, “I was an extreme alcoholic and did everything I could to push my family away from the monster I saw in the mirror.” He was haunted by the death of a Marine in Afghanistan and a subsequent Courts Martial hearing. He blamed himself for dragging his wife into his mess and ultimately making a disaster of his marriage. He was becoming an expert, or so he thought, at blaming everyone else for his problems. He thought if he could just push them away, he’d be able to drop all responsibilities. But that’s not what God’s plan was for him.
“Arriving at the Legacy Program, I wanted a divorce; I wanted to disown everything in my life; I was an alcoholic; I was extremely hateful, extremely bitter. I did not want to change because it allowed me to dwell on my problems.” Though the classes spoke to him, he was too bitter and hateful to listen and learn from them. But Legacy Program is not just about classes.
“My Team Leader, Mike, kept ‘poking me in the chest,’ subtly, and I finally opened up to him—just a little.” Josh recalls how on the last day of the program, he overheard another Team Leader opening up to his team about one of his own struggles. “It spoke directly to me. It kept lingering in my heart.” Josh admits, if not for the personal testimonies and authenticity of the Team Leaders, “I would have blown off the classes and gone home without wanting to change.” It was the transparency of the team, the formation of a new brotherhood, and the realigning his life with Christ that sparked the fire in Josh to become the man he was created to be and to want to serve others and be part of the Mighty Oaks team.