A family in crisis reached out to the Local 4 Defenders for help and hope to bring attention to the plight of thousands of military veterans who have trouble adjusting to life after returning from the service.
Retired Marine Reserve Chrissy Myers is in a local VA hospital Thursday night recovering from an alcohol overdose. Her parents shared her story with Kevin Dietz.
Myers served the country well during overseas missions, but now the things she saw have her feeling at rock bottom. Her parents are worried she'll die on the streets of Metro Detroit if she can't find the help she needs immediately.
They said growing up, Myers was a smart and precious child with a big smile.
"She was creative in her art, her words, her writings, everything," Marsha Myers said. "She was just an amazing child."
"You couldn't keep her down," David Myers said. "She was her own little whirlwind."
"Smiley, happy, happy-go-lucky," Marsha Myers said.
When Chrissy Myers decided to join the military like her brother and sister, her parents were proud.
"To be a part of something real and important and meaningful, (that's) significant," David Myers said.
Their daughter excelled as a Marine reserve, becoming an expert marksman and speaking foreign languages, which are valuable skills on overseas missions.
"She got a lot of medals and everything, but over the course of time, things happened," Marsha Myers said. "Not good things."
Chrissy Myers saw and experienced things. Being a female in a mostly male environment was difficult.
"I mean, there's things that we don't want to know and we don't want to see, but there are the things that they're come home with that we are eventually going to deal with," Marsha Myers said.
Once back home, Chrissy Myers spiraled downward quickly.
"She paid for it with a lot of trauma, a lot of PTSD, and now the alcoholism," David Myers said.
The drinking got bad and she lost her husband and gave up her child to a friend. Her parents started getting calls.
"I remember the first time some hair salon called us because she had passed out," David Myers said.
Then the police called.
"The Rochester Hills police found her passed out in a restaurant parking lot," Marsha Myers said. "They took her to Beaumont and she was listed as a Jane Doe."
"This last time, she spend three or four or five days in the hospital," David Myers said.
"I thought they were just going to detox her, but when I opened that curtain, she was on a ventilator," Marsha Myers said.
In several phone conversations, Chrissy Myers said she wants to get help. As a veteran, the VA hospital is available to her. The VA can't comment on patients, but her family said she has been there often.
"We take her to the VA," Marsha Myers said. "It's a Band-Aid fix. It's like, get her detox and get her out and it just doesn't work."
"I was hoping that the whole plan to get her into an inpatient, an intense inpatient program, was going to be finalized, but they just discharged her," David Myers said. "I guess she said she wanted to be discharged, and one of her supposed friends came and picked her up and took her off."
The VA can't hold Chrissy Myers against her will, and every time she leaves, she gets closer to death, leaving her parents petrified.
"It's like, 'Do you realize this girl who came back serving our country is going to die?'" Marsha Myers said. "I mean, I'm prepared for a funeral as best as I can be, but we want her to live. She's worth it. All these vets are worth it."
"We have no idea what to do," David Myers said.
The Defenders first learned about the story from a call. A Marine veteran was breaking rules by working as an escort. Chrissy Myers was advertising on the internet under the name "Ava," and we showed up to confront her.
Immediately the Defenders realized that while she might have been scamming the system, what she really needed was help. She was working as an escort to pay for alcohol and a hotel room. Her mother recently found out where her daughter was and rescued her.
"Once they did, there was throw up and blood all over the bed and they ended up taking her to the St. John's," Marsha Myers said. "We just don't know where to go, where to turn. It's like, my heart goes out for her because you want to protect your children and you can't."
Her mother said the addiction to alcohol will kill Chrissy Myers soon if it's not treated.
Veteran's Affairs said it has several programs in place to help Chrissy Myers if she is willing to put in the work. Local 4 will continue to monitor her progress and update the story.
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