FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Shepherd’s House hosted a special Christmas luncheon and gift event for their military veterans this afternoon.
“I haven’t experienced a Christmas like that in quite a while,” said Army veteran Robert Liese.
Liese says he will reach his 6-month sobriety milestone next Wednesday.
For many veterans at the treatment program for alcohol and chemically addicted men, Liese says Christmas can be a lonely holiday unless they have family members that live locally.
Liese says, “I think it’s hard for everybody.”
The staff at Shepherd’s House gave him a different perspective on family, however, when he woke up to gifts wrapped in shiny paper, and hot meals to last throughout the day.
Army veteran and Shepherd’s House resident Thomas Pflueger agrees that this Christmas is more enjoyable than previous holidays.
A previous resident of the Shepherd’s House in Dec. 2017, Pflueger says he returned in May of 2020 with a better disposition than what he had before.
Also battling alcoholism, he says depression followed, also affecting his outlook on holidays.
“When it comes Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’ve always been very depressed and just down,” said Pflueger.
He says the Shepherd’s House staff, and even the residents have shown immense support.
He received a new coat for a Christmas gift, contrary to his common ‘hand-me-downs.’
Pflueger says, “This place has really brought me out of my depression. Now I enjoy the holidays... I’ve enjoyed this holiday like none other.”
If you’d like to donate food or clothing items to veterans at the Shepherd’s House, you can call (260) 424-2500. The staff ask that you leave your donation on the bench outside the Shepherd's House door for COVID-19 safety. For more information, click here.