Prior to beginning his career at Peckham, where he’s worked as a 3PL Materials Handler for six years, Abel’s life was anything but easy. During an eight-year stint in the Marine Corps, he was deployed to and spent a year in Iraq. After returning to civilian life, Abel found steady employment at a steel plant for 15 years. During this time, he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction while fighting an ongoing battle with PTSD. As a result, he lost his job and house, and his marriage ended in divorce.

As he began to focus on healing both body and soul, Abel found out about Peckham from a fellow ex-Marine who, at the time, headed up Peckham’s Veteran Services program. Around the same time, he learned of a program called Save a Warrior (SAW) an organization specializing in evidence-based intervention for active-duty military, returning veterans, and first responders. SAW’s holistic approach, integrating proven methods with a supportive community to address the challenges related to Complex PTSD, provided Abel with a path to healing.

Along with the program’s resources, Abel credits Peckham for supporting his personal growth and allowing him the flexibility to continue his healing process. The work environment at Peckham’s 3PL division aligns well with Abel’s need for autonomy and self-management of daily tasks. Peckham makes numerous opportunities available for Abel to decompress, meditate, and engage in stress-reducing activities during the workday. Additionally, Peckham allows Abel to take week-long breaks to return to SAW. Abel often brings other veterans with him who can benefit from SAW’s ongoing support and services.

Abel’s life has done a 180 since coming to Peckham and becoming part of SAW. He now owns a car, and a house with two acres of land, a sizeable chunk of which is dedicated to a garden where he grows more than a dozen crops. He also raises chickens, refurbishes vehicles for resale, and enjoys hosting large gatherings of friends and families for cookouts and fun activities.

Perhaps most importantly, he is part of a strong community that includes 37 Peckham 3PL veterans who support each other’s healing journeys. Combining this with his work as SAW’s ambassador for Michigan, a position that allows him to spread the word about the organization’s positive impact on veterans, Abel says he now as a “reason to get up in the morning” and is excited about what his future holds, including the possibility of advancing his career at Peckham and spending more time with his daughter.

“Being at Peckham for the Past six years has really helped me heal,” he says, getting up from the interview so he can return to his forklift duties. “They allow me to be myself.”




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