Florida-based non-profit helps save local military couple's marriage

A national organization is helping veterans heal through counseling, and a local military couple used the service to save their marriage. 

Communication is much better these days between Michael and Shamika Gaskin. Michael spent 20 years in the military and Shamika served eight years, but the stress of military life took a toll on their mental health and their marriage. 

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"We both have, you know, some mental health issues and living together as a couple, you know, sometimes that can be harder to address," Sharmika said. 

They tried, but hit a rough patch earlier this year, and at one point, they contemplated divorce.

"In the military, it can be very stressful at times," said Michael. "It takes you away from your family. It brings you back to your family. Sometimes it doesn't bring you back the way that you left." 

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To bring their lives back together, the couple decided to go to counseling. Through a referral at the VA, they found "the Camaraderie Foundation," a Florida-based non-profit that provides counseling, emotional, and spiritual support for all branches of military service members for free.

"But being able to be there to support my brothers and sisters in arms and when they're in need, everything from saving their lives to saving their marriages," said Anna Tanzilla with the Camaraderie Foundation.

It was a marriage-saving and life-changing decision by the Gaskins. 

"It's a blessing and it is. We're in a way better place," Michael said. "I would never have guessed that we were able to get from where we were to almost being separated and departing, to where we are now."

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For the foundation, it's an opportunity to give back to these who volunteer to serve our country and often need service when they return. 

"I feel like we give hope. I feel like that we're that lifeline that people are needing. And it makes me so proud and that we're able to be there and be that person, be that organization," Tanzilla said. 

For more information visit, www.CFUSA.org.