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Organization Information

Swords to Plowshares Veterans Rights Organization

About

We heal the wounds, restore dignity, hope and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need and reduce homelessness and poverty among veterans.

Real Life

William Boehm U.S. Navy, 1967-1971 "When you go from the military to civilian life, it's like two different worlds. A lot of veterans end up on the streets. After the Vietnam War I ignored my PTSD for decades until my life crumbled around me. I never thought I would become homeless, but I spent three years wandering the desert." After the Vietnam War, Bill returned home to San Francisco and tried to get help at the VA, but PTSD wasn't recognized at the time and there were no services to help him. He went on to get married, start a family and open a business that thrived for more than two decades. The symptoms of his PTSD went untreated and his family life began to unravel. He eventually sold his business and was homeless for years, wandering the country before seeking help in 2010. Bill was referred to Swords to Plowshares and received both supportive housing and mental health counseling, all the while battling colon cancer. Bill made his home at Swords to Plowshares' Veterans Academy for three years, where he facilitated peer counseling groups and was an active member of the community. He subsequently moved on to an apartment of his own in Pacifica and now dedicates much of his time supporting fellow veterans through a peer-based counseling model called "Vet-to-Vet".