Making a Change with Veteran Mentors: A Success Story

Veteran Mentors is all about making a positive change in the lives of our youth. Whether a child is suffering from low self-esteem, lack of respect or addiction to technology, our team is here is to help them rediscover their self-worth and redirect their energy into positive avenues.

Recently we received a message from Caroline F. about how much of a difference we have made in her son’s life that absolutely warmed our hearts. As a testament to the change that is possible through working with the Veteran Mentors, we would like to share it with you.

“I am extremely grateful for what Veteran Mentors has been able to achieve for my entire family. My son has always loved to play computers however, about 12 months ago my son became obsessed with it, it was all he did outside of his apprentice as a baker, which was a business we had bought especially for him.

Sometime after that he fell in with an online group with extremist views. No amount of counselling from us (his parents) or his well-respected grandparents could bring him out of it. I felt as though there was no hope and no one that would help with such an issue as this.

Doctors couldn’t help and there are no programs for this kind of problem. I felt as though if your child were a criminal or struggling with gender identity or was lost to drugs and alcohol there was always a program for that. But for us, no one knew what to do and there was no help out there.

In desperation I started googling for camps for troubled teens and that’s how I discovered Veteran Mentors. I was very sceptical at first. I thought no one could get through to my child, having spent thousands on what I was told was the best counselling in our region.

After a long talk with Lynette I decided to go ahead with the camp. I was so desperate to send him I had him booked in and paid for 10 weeks in advance, as we had just missed the last camp. It was the longest 10 weeks of my life.

Even as I dropped my son at the camp, I wasn’t convinced that they could help. The entire drive to camp (6 hours) he had bated me with his popularised internet theories. His goal seemed to be to inflict as much hurt as possible. I started to lose confidence in anything being able to help him ever.

His online friends were telling him we didn’t care about him or respect him and he was starting to believe it. We had invested a huge amount of money in buying a business and setting him up, and the stakes were very high for us. We believed he was going to walk away from the lot with only a grade 10 education. It was a scary prospect, acknowledging that we had reached the end of our own abilities and that his entire future hinged on the ability of strangers.









When the day finally came to pick him up from camp, I was so excited. I watched him march in and waited for the moment to hear him speak, I wanted to assess his attitude. When the moment finally came, I wasn’t sure if there was a change but on the drive home it became very clear.

Gone was the guile and the arrogance that he knew everything. He was very excited just to talk to me about his experience at the camp, the friends he had made and all that had happened. He hadn’t talked to me except to argue his views for over 6 months and it always ended with everyone angry and he had even punched a wall. In the car he was just happy. He told me all about his mentor affectionately nick named “Copper”.

In the weeks following the camp the changes just kept presenting. He abandoned his online friends in favour of real, local friends he hadn’t spoken to in years. He started going to movies with friends, some car shows and going to their houses and them to ours. Gone are the days he locked himself in his room, on the internet feeding his hatred of society.

It seems like a distant memory, he’s a normal kid now that goes out and experiences life. The changes didn’t end there. It got better! He is now finishing grades 11 and 12 through TAFE and trying really hard! He is finishing his apprentice at the bakery at the same time as studying for his high school cert, and wants to become a chopper pilot in the military. He is very dedicated to his studies to achieve this.

He has goals for the first time. He has joined cadets and loves it. He wants to go back to veteran mentors and I absolutely back this and plan to send him again in January; it may be a shot in the arm that keeps him motivated he needs at the time, but for the moment he is fully motivated a month after returning home.

There aren’t really words to truly explain to “Copper” and the other Veterans the change they have made that has extended to the entire family. The stress in the house has evaporated, our family is simply happy. A potentially destructive member of society that was gearing up to become a burden on society is now a productive member of society that I am completely proud of.

He is confident, goal orientated and a team player and as I said, there just are no words…”

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