Local Army Veteran working to help veterans with PTSD

“I needed the discipline, I needed the structure.  I didn’t know it but I needed it," said Kenny Lee Holmes.

He's is married to Sarah and is a stay at home dad to three kids: Kenny, Bradley, and Addison. 

He’s also a photographer and marketing specialist.  Most importantly, he’s a United States Army Veteran.

The Elkhart native said that joining the Army at 18 as an Infantryman was God’s calling.

“I just want to jump out of airplanes, that sounds like fun, I want to do that.  Well they got this thing called the Infantry.  What’s that?  You get to blow stuff up.  Alright, I’m in.  Sign me up," said Holmes.

The best part about being in the Army?

“The comradery definitely, the friendships you make are a lifetime," Holmes said.  "We don’t call each other friends, we call each other brother.”

Like brothers should do, they stick together.

Holmes is one of five who run FreedomSystem.org.  It’s a non-profit organization in Michiana helping veterans.

“We work real hard at helping veterans achieve who they can become and close that culture gap between military and civilian life," said Holmes.  “We do a lot of psychiatric help as well, where we do blogs on PTSD and how to cope.”

Freedom System has partnered with other organizations in Michiana such as Scrappers Rescue, Jesse’s Warriors and the DAV.

Some other programs offered by Freedom System are: resume writing and a martial arts class for veterans with PTSD to help them cope with their anxiety. 

“Kind of a dream come true to be able to help people that have given so much to us," said Holmes

In addition to helping the veterans they also want to:

“Try to educate the community on how a veteran is and that PTSD doesn’t necessarily define and that they are somebody else other than a veteran with ptsd that they are a person," said Holmes.

So what does Veterans Day mean to him?

“It’s a time of reflection.  It’s a time of thanking those who have served and those that have served before me and those that will serve after me," said Holmes.  "My little brother is in the Army.  So I make sure I call him and say thank you.  I got cousins in the area that have served and uncles and make sure that I show them my gratitude and love."

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