A tragedy triumphed by strength.
“Healing is what Warriors for Freedom mean to me,” said Alissa Lautenbach. A nonprofit organization she never knew existed, let alone one that would have such an impact on her and support her life.
It started as a picture-perfect fairytale story. Alissa and Tyler met when they were young at a youth group in church, which led to a friendship. As they started growing up, they experienced life and began going through different stages. Ultimately they grew apart. Fast forward years later, Tyler returned from Fort Carson, and a simple conversation reignited that spark they once had; the two signed the papers for their happily ever after.
Alissa noticed that when Tyler came back from the army, things were different. He seemed to have a drinking problem. Alissa thought nothing of it at first, “it wasn’t anything to think about at our age… it was just something people do”. But with one problem came the next, which led to an ending of Alissa’s fairytale story. After a night away and leaving Tyler alone, Alissa woke up to the police at her parent’s door, letting her know he had shot himself.
She knew that with guns came alcohol. The night she couldn’t protect or support him, he fell, a tragedy that she will never forget.
A nonprofit organization guiding togetherness
Warriors for Freedom gave Alissa comfort. She had moved away from all of her friends and family to a new town. She was experiencing everything out of her comfort zone. Warriors for Freedom gave her that connection to feel important and worthy of sharing her story. After Tyler’s passing, it became a part of her to share their story to help other veterans and widows going through the same thing. She described the feeling as if one was in a glass box and everyone else was looking in, not understanding the ache and the agony of the struggles. Relating it to the journey that veterans also face dealing with the return to civilian life.
It takes an army to come together and empower our veterans and their families, but with support, Warriors for Freedom does just that.