Duane was eager to make a difference.
When he was in high school in the early 1970s, Duane lost a few older friends in the Vietnam War and remembers others coming home with terrible wounds and PTSD.
Wanting to help in any way he could, Duane enlisted at 17, but never made it to Southeast Asia. The war ended soon after Duane signed up, but he served five years in Texas, Georgia and then in Spain — though never in a combat zone.
“But I served my country,” he says proudly. After his service, Duane got an associate degree, had steady jobs, a nice home and was happily married, until …
“I caught my wife messing around on me,” Duane says. “I got real upset and became a little violent.” Duane ended up serving 90 days in jail and was then sent to Veterans Court, which arranged for him to come to Kokomo Rescue Mission where he has been turning things around.
“I was down in the dumps when I first got into trouble,” he says. “But the Mission has helped, and has gotten me back into believing a bit more in humanity.”
Duane, 65, hopes to have his own place again soon and spend a lot of time fishing. “Fishing is very relaxing,” he says. “When you get a fish on the line, it seems all your stress and anxiety leaves your body.”
For Duane and others like him, you help people find peace and healing.