Profile of Courage John Page, Sr.
John Page, Sr.
U.S. Air Force, 1970-1975
Shortly after the Vietnam War ended, John’s five years of military service was up. Having developed hyper-tension while serving, and with his wife and baby boy waiting for him in California, he decided it was time to settle back into civilian life.
His commander offered to help him land a job in air traffic control where he could apply the skills he learned in the Air Force. But unfortunately, his health issues prevented him from getting the job. He was devastated and began self-medicating, a pattern that continued for many years. Subsequently, his drug use tore his family apart and led to bouts of homelessness.
In 2002, while homeless and drug dependent, friends encouraged him to go to Swords to Plowshares for help. He worked with an attorney at Swords who was able to secure the service-connected disability benefits he deserved. The staff at Swords helped him get back on his feet, but John continued using drugs until he hit bottom a year later. In 2003, John suffered a stroke that resulted in partial paralysis and loss of motor skills, blindness, permanent damage to his short-term memory and his ability to comprehend speech.
Since then, he has completely turned his life around and is happy for the first time in years. Today, John is reunited with his family, has remained clean and sober and is a leader in his community who dedicates much of his time giving back to youth in need of guidance and support.