The ‘Hope Dealer’ speaks to Sailors at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

Story and photo by MC2 Charles Oki
Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

Motivational speaker Jeremy Bates, the ‘Hope Dealer,’ speaks to Sailors as part of a resiliency presentation at Sharkey Theater on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH).

Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

‘Hope Dealer’ Jeremy Bates, a motivational speaker, spoke to Sailors about drug and alcohol abuse and its effects on decision-making and mental health as part of a resiliency presentation at Sharkey Theater, on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) Nov. 28.

The event was coordinated by Drug and Alcohol Program advisors (DAPA) from Commander, Navy Region Hawaii (CNRH), Commander,

Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC), and JBPHH.

“The purpose of today’s event is to bring awareness to the effects of alcohol and drug abuse from someone who has seen and experienced these effects firsthand,” said Brett Kulbis, COMSUBPAC alcohol and drug control officer.

“Hearing stories from a person like Jeremy who grew up in a household of drug and alcohol abuse and how he had to overcome the hardship he endured is much stronger than simply going through a PowerPoint presentation,” he added.

Bates used comedy, games and music to help connect with Sailors before speaking about his experiences. He discussed growing up in a broken home and how he manages the behavioral defense mechanisms he developed as a child while not letting his upbringing define him as an adult.

“Part of the reason of me coming out and sharing my story is to let Sailors know they aren’t alone in their struggle,” Bates said.

“I think it’s human nature to feel like when someone is going through struggles that they’re the only ones dealing with it and I think it’s compounded when you wear the uniform,” he added. “It’s like service members have to have this persona of being someone who’s larger than life, which can be isolating, so whatever they are battling, knowing that they’re not alone can help lift that weight off their shoulders.”

“The truth is we all have a story and something that we’ve overcome. My goal is getting people to rethink the way they see that struggle,” he added. “Sometimes it’s the things that are the most traumatic to us that become the most vibrant parts of who we are as long as we don’t let it engulf us.”

CNRH provides, maintains, and improves shore infrastructure, service support and training to enable fleet operations of naval forces.

The command supports logistic requirements and deployment of joint forces as directed by combatant and service component commanders.

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Category: News