Chambers, County, Alabama (WRBL) Benjamin Ruwan knows what it feels like, to spiral into a black hole.

“I kinda realized I had some mental health issues going on, but I didn’t want to address those issues because of the image of a combat veteran we’re supposed to be strong, we’re supposed to be able to handle anything thrown at us,” says Benjamin Ruwan, a 6-year military veteran.

With nowhere to turn, drugs and alcohol were his escape.

“Got real bad into drinking, real bad into drug use, and thought about just taking my own life and end-all of the pain and thought I would make it a lot easier on everybody,” says Ruwan.

But Benjamin quickly realized his life has meaning. He needed to get better to be a role model for his two sons Gage and Julien.

“There’s no set time on when I will go back to Ohio I have two sons there but I know right now in the important time in my life in my recovery if I go back it’s not the right time because I haven’t been able to heal myself” says Ruwan.

The Barn Group stepped in and saved Benjamin’s life. Today he’s 220 days clean. Aside from addiction, the farm focuses on other issues veterans face daily.

“COVID-19 has affected America as we know, but a lot of people don’t realize what it has done to our veterans and our service members. Some of them are struggling financially because they lost their jobs, nobody is helping them,” says Scott Smith President/CEO of The Barn Group who hosted the retreat on donated, conserved land.

In this retreat, no one is left behind.

“We also take care of the veteran’s families their wives, their kids that type of stuff so that is why our program is different we don’t leave the veteran hanging,” says Chuck Hooks, National QRF Team Leader.

Hiding your troubles weighs heavy on your mind, but with a little encouragement,

“It gives me a glimmer of hope it’s not even a glimmer anymore, it’s a bright shining light of hope,” says Ruwan.

To learn more about The Barn Group, click here.