meet mike nettles
When you sit down and talk with Mike Nettles you may be taken back by his honesty and willingness to share with you what led to his life of homelessness. But after you finish speaking with Mike you will understand why his honesty is worn as a badge of courage.
Mike's path after his service in the Army was not what he thought it would be. He found it difficult to adjust to life outside the military and mental issues that he thought were in his past quickly - resurfaced.
Facing a battle with Schizophrenia Mike found it difficult to stay employed and carry out the routine of an every day life. Seeking to hide what he was going through Mike turned to living on the streets of Sacramento.
Not knowing where to turn yet feeling that he wanted more than what he had, Mike attended a Three Day Stand Down put on by Sacramento Stand Down. Now Mike will be honest and say that he wanted to get better but he wasn't excited to attend the Stand Down because it was out of his comfort zone - but he knew if he could turn to anyone it was his fellow Veterans.
"I found a sense of peace" is how Mike explains his time at the Three Day Stand Down. Feeling that my fellow Veterans wanted to help me and that they were willing to carry me and fight side by side with me made me feel connected.
During this part of our conversation Mike begins to talk slower and you can see the emotion welling up inside. Then, Mike does something that only an individual that is confident in themselves can do - He stops talking and looks you right in the eye and says "I may not be exactly where I want to be but I am standing on my own two feet- and I give back every chance I get".
There are not to many times in today's world that you can look another person in the eye and know that they mean exactly what they say, and feel confident that even if it cost them everything they will do exactly what they said they would do.
But Mike makes you feel exactly that. He looks you in the eye and says that Sacramento Stand Down saved his life and he will give back every chance he gets and that he will not leave a brother or sister behind - "because that is what they did for me".