David lives in Marion, MA with his family of four kids, his fiancé, and a very spoiled dog named Leah. He is retired from the United States Army and is also a carpenter.
David has been with Samaritans Southcoast for one year and serves as a Volunteer on the phone, as a Shift Supervisor, and most recently as a Trainer. David also volunteers to help Veterans in need of physical labor at home, and he is a passionate advocate for suicidal children and teens.
He had much to say when asked what brought him to this kind of volunteering.
“I am a combat veteran with PTSD. After returning from my last tour of duty in Afghanistan, where I lost two of my closest friends, I struggled day in and day out for years with severe anxiety and depression. It got so bad for me that I attempted suicide myself—more than once. My last attempt was the most serious, and I am only here today out of true blessing. That was the last straw for me. I knew I had to do something. And fast. So I decided it was time to get the help I needed.”
"The first step was to stop drinking. I used alcohol to numb the pain and anguish that I felt daily. The second step was to tackle the guilt and grief I carried with me since ‘that day.’ The day that started it all. The day that I FELT that if I just did something different, they would still be with me today. That was the hardest part of my journey of recovering from my invisible battle wounds. The recovery of having half of my hand blown off was kindergarten in comparison. But with hard work, some intestinal fortitude, and the sheer will to live, I made it through."
"With top-of-the-line help, a strong support system, and unconditional love from the people around me, I pushed through the minefield of emotions. I learned that there was nothing I could have done differently that day. I learned that life would happen regardless of where I am standing. I learned that as long as you give things, you're all; the mission is a success no matter the outcome. I learned that alcohol is just a mask, a very ugly one at that. I learned that no matter what life may put in front of me, ending my life would deprive me of life and destroy every person around me."
“The third step was to take all of the dark things that I have seen, survived, and navigated and put them into something that I can use to help others get through the toughest days of their lives. I feel that my experiences, and the fact that I have persevered, and am now stronger and happier than I have ever been, are worth more than education by the books. So I searched and searched until I found Samaritans. It is a place where people of every walk of life call when they feel they can't take anymore. When I listen to our callers, I understand them. I know that what they are feeling is real. And I know that if I had had someone to listen to me earlier on, It would have been much easier for me to get by.”
"This TEAM.....I am very happy to be a part of this unique group. An army of selfless human beings, each with their own personal and professional experiences that they bring to the table. I absolutely love talking to every one of my fellow volunteers. I am left in shock often when someone opens up and tells me why they do this. Why do they dedicate so much for no monetary exchange? I am left humbled, and I am proud that I get to be a part of this. The people here are amazing. The callers are amazing. And the feeling that I am left with after helping someone on the other end of the line... is amazing!”
Some fun facts about David: Some of his pastimes are skydiving, boating, mountain climbing, hiking, volunteering, wildlife tracking, and the gym. David has a passion for being a good dad and loves to teach his children that the earth is so much more beautiful than we as a species have made it to be.
David loves the color blue, Chinese food, the show Yellowstone, and The Other Guys movie. He loves the song The Thunder Rolls by Garth Brooks, and he says Pebbles Beach/Mount Kineo, Maine, is one of the most interesting places he’s ever been.
When asked the question, if you could spend one hour on a park bench talking with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? His answer was Robin Williams.