#MissionMonday - Patrick

Every Monday, we'll be posting a new story of how our mission has assisted people in the community. Be sure to check back each week for a new and inspirational story of someone who was helped by Goodwill Manasota. Changing lives through the power of work...it's what we do.

In 2003, Specialist Patrick "Moose" Cronin joined the United States Army in the Airborne Infantry in Vicenza, Italy. During his time in the Army, he was deployed to Iraq for eight months and then volunteered to extend his deployment to go to Kuwait for an additional four months. After that he was deployed to Afghanistan for one year. In 2006, Patrick was granted an Honorable discharge from the military and attempted to return to civilian life.

Unfortunately, when he was released from his service Patrick wasn't prepared to rejoin society. He was dealing with both PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury) from a Humvee accident during his time overseas. Shortly after his return stateside Patrick ended up getting in trouble with the law and spending 16 ½ months in a Pasco county jail after being charged with numerous felonies.

After getting out of jail, Patrick decided he needed a change. Goodwill Manasota's Veterans Services Team worked with Patrick to overcome his many barriers to employment and set out to find an employer who was willing to work with him. David Kramer from Florida Parking Co. stepped up and hired Patrick in August of 2017. While employed part-time with Florida Parking Co., Patrick enrolled in the Vet2Chef program. He successfully graduated from Vet2Chef and was then hired part-time at California Pizza Kitchen. Since starting at the restaurant, Goodwill has received rave reviews on his performance and he has already been promoted to full-time.

Patrick wants employers to know that sometimes people just need the opportunity to prove themselves and is thankful for all of the support provided to him by Goodwill Manasota. It's what we do...