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Celebrating 40 Years of Sobriety

October 29, 2020

When you meet Lorenzo “Rock ” Rangel, it’s easy to see what he is most proud of in life.

As a Marine, he earned a license to drive a 48,500 lb. tank before he had a Minnesota driver’s license. He wears his service proudly – greeting neighbors in his building by their military rank, long after their retirement.

He’s also very proud of his hard work ethic. As the son of migrant farmers from Mexico, Rock, his parents, and siblings worked hard to pay the bills.

“We were all workers,” says Rock. “I never forgot where I came from. I was a workaholic before I was an alcoholic. Then I reversed the two. I liked the work, but I loved to drink.”

Rock isn’t shy about the negative impact that alcohol had on his life. His marriage dissolved, and he found himself in and out of prison. He had stints of homelessness.

In 1981, he decided to get sober.

“I had to get tired of it, accept it, and want to change,” explains Rock. After being released from the St. Cloud VA Hospital, he stayed in a recovery program at People Incorporated.

“We had to stay for a minimum of 30 days. I think I stayed 90 days. But we had to get a job after our first 30 days,” says Rock. “Some of them from alcohol like me, but others were there for other drugs,” said Rock. “A lot of us had spent a lot of time on the streets and in prison.”

Rock is thankful for the time he spent at People Incorporated, and was excited to see local news featuring our staff still out in the community, helping people struggling with mental illness and addiction.

Now he’s proud of the example he’s set for his children and grandchildren. He proudly shares stories of his children working, retiring, and raising their children.

“They’re all sober now too. None of them drink or smoke. I got to be an example for them. There is no better life than sobriety,” said Rock.

“I had to get tired of it, accept it, and want to change,” explains Rock.

We had to get along. People need people. We were all in recovery.

“If it wasn’t for companies like People Incorporated, where would I be? I needed help. You have to want help, and grab it when it comes, but you have to have a place to start,” he says.

Now he’s proud of the example he’s set for his children and grandchildren. He proudly shares stories of his children working, retiring, and raising their children.

“They’re all sober now too. None of them drink or smoke. I got to be an example for them. There is no better life than sobriety,” said Rock.