COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — After eight years in the service, local Air Force veteran Jeremy Parkins tells me he felt absolutely lost coming home.
“When I got out of the military, I had no clue who I was, I was bouncing job to job, I was married at the time and that was going south fast,” said Parkins.
Parkins says he would go out and drink most nights, often ending up in the county jail.
And he says his life was going nowhere. Until one moment changed everything…
“One day my son, rolled over, I think he was two at the time, he rolled over and he looked at me and that was the moment where I was like man, I’m going down the wrong path, I need to get my stuff together,” said Parkins.
And he did, by enrolling in college, and then eventually working in corrections, serving as a case manager, for veterans like David Howard Jr.
“I chose a path that, led me to drinking and drug use, and ultimately ended up incarcerated,” said Howard Jr.
While going through rehabilitation, Howard met with Parkins frequently, which further inspired Parkins into starting his own program to help veterans.
And today, that organization is called “Dress, Right, Dress” which serves as a local non-profit across Ohio, providing veterans with mentorship, peer programs, and VA support.
“But also, the smaller portion of that is those direct services, so our “Just Involved’ program where we go inside the prisons and jails, and we work with the just involved veterans,” said Parkins.
And it’s that group support, which veterans like Howard say, makes all the difference.
“Everything we did, we did as a group, and that kind of builds upon the military values of no man left behind,” said Howard Jr.
All programs offered by “Dress, Right, Dress” are completely free to veterans who qualify.
You can find out more by visiting their website at https://www.dressrightdress.org/about