After 3 suicide attempts, Marine veteran turns life around and graduates from veterans court
The veteran overdosed twice and crashed on I-65 before finding the programs that turned his life around.
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- A Marine Corps veteran from southern Indiana tried committing suicide three times before finally getting the help he desperately needed.
It was the darkest time in Brian Reidinger's life.
“Two overdoses and a car accident that I tried," Reidinger said. "The overdoses didn't work. I don't know how. They should have ... big time. And then on I-65, I drove into a median."
But those times were a stark difference from just years earlier when he proudly served in the United States Marine Corps.
“I fell in love," Reidinger said. "I was good at it. I succeeded in it."
Within a year of joining, he was deployed to combat in Iraq.
“I excelled in it. I was really good at it," he said. "I was good under pressure. I was good at making decisions, I was good at protecting my marines, and they were good at protecting me."
After Reidinger got out of the Marines, he moved back home and felt lost.
“One of the worst things you can tell a Marine, a combat Marine, is that you're not the same," he said. "Because we know we're not the same. It sucks being reminded of it, and I was just depressed."
He developed a drinking problem that turned into an opioid pill problem, which later turned into a heroin problem.
“It ruined my life," he said. "It took over everything."
Reidinger was in and out of jail. But then he finally accepted help through Veteran's Treatment Court of Southern Indiana.
“Which was one of the best things to ever happen to me," he said. "If it wasn't for them, I'd be dead today."
He spent two-and-a-half years in the program and officially graduated from it Thursday night alongside other veterans. Reidinger said without that program and Volunteers of America, he doesn't know where he'd be.
“Volunteers of America is like guardian angels,” he said.
The organization found him housing and helped him provide a Christmas for his three children. He wants other veterans in crisis to realize there are resources out there that can, in fact, help before it’s too late.
“It's hard to ask for help, but none of it is a handout," Reidinger said. "We earned it."
Statistics show 22 veterans take their lives every day.
A walk is being held Saturday in Jeffersonville to raise awareness of veteran suicide. If you’d like to participate you can find more information here.
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