Raising the flag of recovery – Low Calorie Diets Tips

June 15 – Flags are waving. Flagpoles are the reason.

Without support to pull them up, flags fall flat. addicts too.

Tuesday was flag day. Also the 247th anniversary of the United States Army formed on June 14, 1775 as the Continental Army. Neither holiday is a public holiday, but both are good reasons for the grateful to gather on a fine June afternoon.

On the sunny sidewalk in front of Recovery Bank at 120 Wyoming Ave. guests filled rows of folding chairs while patriotic music fought with the blare of horns and the angry bang of trucks pounding the sidewalk.

Atop the building, a fundamental symbol of American identity soared on the support of a symbol of recovery – a destroyed flagpole restored to its former glory.

“It’s symbolic of what we’re doing here,” said Attorney Frank Bolock Jr., President and CEO of Recovery Bank.

“We’re all about recovery and helping people broken by substance abuse to recover and rebuild their lives.”

Bolock said Recovery Bank leaders considered replacing the flagpole — which has towered over the building since 1917 — but opted to restore it instead. The work was funded by the Spitz Foundation, established in 2015 from the estate of the late Robert H. Spitz, a Scranton native and Scranton Central High School graduate who owned several local Arby’s franchises. Veterans Affairs is one of the foundation’s priorities.

“I’m glad we decided to renovate it,” Bolock said of the flagpole. “I’m glad we didn’t give it up.”

The Recovery Bank doesn’t give up on people either. It is part of a strong regional network of treatment centers, support groups and individuals committed to sobriety and helping others achieve it. Help is available. I am living proof. It works if you work at it.

The Recovery Bank emerged from the Lackawanna County Treatment Court. Led by Judge Michael Barrasse, the court has helped thousands of addicts find and stay on a path to sobriety and recovery.

Barrasse was present at Tuesday’s ceremony, as was Sandra Opshinsky, President of NEPA’s Veterans Resource Coalition. The nonprofit organization is hosting a Veterans Stand Down Saturday at 1 p.m. at Lackawanna College, 501 Vine St. in Scranton.

The event offers everything from clothing, basic hygiene products and hairdressers to assistance with filing benefit claims, finding work and drug and alcohol treatment services. Sandra is a longtime friend. Veterans couldn’t ask for a better attorney.

Veterans like Solomon Lindsey, a 39-year-old Scranton Army veteran who spent a tour of Iraq “breaking down doors and blowing things up.” He came home with PTSD and tried to drown his demons in alcohol and drugs.

Lindsey knew Tuesday was the Army’s birthday. He is 2 1/2 years sober, a victory story from the District Veterans Treatment Court, also overseen by Barrasse. He is about to graduate and has left his legal troubles behind. Lindsey credits the Recovery Bank with giving him a practical path to a better life.

“Here it’s like the community of everything,” he said. “We have meetings, we have different classes, different activities, so it’s not like it used to be where we were just partying in bars or clubs or drinking and doing drugs. Being here helps us to be more concerned with sober things, how to live sober.

“And you get insights because we (addicts) are all walking the same journey, just different paths. And it is this descent. And then sometimes you get down a path where it all comes together and you meet other people and you start learning how to live.”

Amen. And congratulations to Lindsey, whose volunteer position teaching a cooking class at Recovery Bank will soon be a paying job. He always wanted to be a chef. Now he has a sponsor to show him the way.

“He’s been a different guy from the day I met him to this day,” said Rev. Jim Noone, an Air Force veteran and retired cook who founded The Way 2 Recovery ministry in 2002.

“He’s where he belongs.”

On the sidewalk, the grateful said their goodbyes and got on with the day. High above, a basic symbol of freedom flew in the sun, a sobering reminder that recovery is always better than giving up.

CHRIS KELLY, the Times-Tribune columnist, is a grateful recovering alcoholic. Contact the author: kellysworld@timesshamrock.com. Read his award-winning blog at timestribuneblogs.com/kelly, @cjkink on Twitter, Chris Kelly, The Times-Tribune on Facebook

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