While Veterans Day has passed, KX News is still honoring all of the veterans who have served and continue to do so.
In today’s Veterans Voices, we don’t just have a story of a remarkable veteran but also his journey through recovery.
Roger Anvik served in the Army from 1967 to 1974. He fought in the Vietnam War and continued his service in Germany as a telephone line installer.
Anvik said he came from a family that abused alcohol and told us that joining the army didn’t make his situation any easier. He said since becoming sober he’s changed his life around and has his family and God to thank for it.
“My counselor told me I’m not going to make it and he was right because I was already planning on getting my first drink,” said Anvik.
He said it wasn’t the army that started his drinking habits, but the extra money and the environment that made it worse.
“I think that had to do with something with how scary it was,” said Anvik.
“I think maybe at first is how it started and that might of been it but for me, I was already subjected to it.”
Anvik said alcohol abuse started with his grandfather and went down the line from there, but after joining the military it was something he noticed everyone was doing.
“I would say that it was prevalent very much so at that time,” said Anvik.
Almost 1 out of every 3 veterans are seeking treatment for some type of substance use disorder. Anvik said it took him nearly 12 years before he woke up one day and decided it was time to seek treatment.
“My wife was having a hard time waking me up and I grabbed a pillow and threw it at her. It wasn’t so much that I grabbed the pillow and threw it at her, it was that I grabbed something,” said Anvik.
“If I would have had a frying pan I would have thrown it at her. I just wanted her to leave me alone and was just throwing anything at her. And I realized it just wasn’t a safe way for me to be.”
But even with treatment, Anvik said he wasn’t ever planning on stopping.
“On my last day there, the last group meeting he told me I wasn’t going to make it and he made me mad and I said I’ll show you sucker. And that’s what kept me sober and wanting to be sober.”
Anvik said he can’t even remember the last time he’s picked up a drink and because of treatment and God, he met his new wife, his daughter and altogether turned his life around in order to be the best dad he could be.
“All that drinking is going to do is it’s going to ruin your life,” said Anvik.
“Until you get help you will just continue to ruin it and it don’t get no better until you get help, but you go to do it yourself.”
After everything Anvik has gone through, he said to this day he will forever honor and serve his country.
“I took my oath to serve God and country and to protect my country from all enemies foreign or domestic and I took that of June of 1967. I have not been released from that oath. I have been released from service but I have not been released from the oath,” said Anvik.
“So as far as I am concerned I am still under that oath and as far as I am concerned all veterans and all service members are under that oath until we die.”
Anvik’s daughter, Nicci Johnson, works for KX News as a digital reporter.
We want to not only thank him for his service but also to their family for sharing their recovery stories with us.
If you are a veteran and are seeking help there are many resources available, click here.