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David Daugherty served his country well. He was a pararescuer and medic in the U.S. Army and Air force and was deployed overseas three times to fight for our freedom (two times to Iraq, once to Afghanistan). After he finished his third tour of duty in 2006, David migrated south with the military. Struggling with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and an alcohol problem he eventually hit bottom. Luckily, David received the support he needed from the military and was sent to Jacksonville for treatment.
Once he completed his time in treatment, David became connected with The Mission Continues. The Mission Continues awards community service fellowships to post-9/11 veterans. Their mission is to empower veterans to transform their own lives by serving others and directly impacting their communities. This fellowship brought David to the Sulzbacher Center, to volunteer with residents and veterans. During his time at the Center David had the opportunity to lead group therapy sessions, be a mentor for our Boy Scout troop and to help form our Veteran’s Task force. As he was volunteering at the Center, David realized he could use this opportunity to not only help others but to help himself as well. “When I first came to Sulzbacher I got involved with the alcoholics through the substance abuse treatment program. I determined that it was my job to serve as a model in recovery. That experience was perhaps more helpful for me than it was for the people in the treatment program. It made me realize that this experience could be a growth process for me, and I was going to try to get the most out of this experience as possible.”
Even though his fellowship is over David continues to dedicate his time to the Sulzbacher Center through the Veteran’s Task Force. For over a year the Task Force has been meeting to help Sulzbacher leadership and staff to understand the special needs of Veterans. The Center has been under construction since July 2012 working to build a Veteran’s Dormitory on the new second floor above the Men’s Dormitory. This facility will especially house Veteran’s and a new program is being designed to cater to their specific needs.
In the future David hopes to become a Messianic Rabbi and bring healing to people who are in need of help.