Once homeless veteran helps others who are struggling

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An area veteran ended up homeless five different times. Just as he hit rock bottom, he met his wife who he says rescued him.
Now the couple is making a difference by sharing their knowledge with homeless veterans around the Commonwealth.

Veteran Doug Graybill says he, “wanted the cops to shoot me.”

For more than 30 years, Vietnam Veteran, Graybill suffered from several behavioral issues.

Graybill says, “I was out of the service 10 years and went back active duty, I thought that would make me better and ended up in Lebanon three times and got out, it was worse.”

Then he met his wife and 23-year Army vet, Liz.

Graybill says, “She met me at my worst and for some reason she liked me and I liked her and we got married.”

Liz says, “That’s how I helped him in his personal life, just by falling in love with him, he was burnt out, depressed and I rescued him.”

Together, they help homeless veterans through their business, “Making a Difference.”

Graybill says, “We’re doing the best we can in giving out lunches, tents, blankets, sleeping bags, making sure their lives are a little more bearable and letting them know people are out that care.”

According to the State Department of Public Welfare, one in four veterans have a mental illness. 22 take their own lives every day. The Graybills join hundreds of veterans and professionals at a two-day forum to help put an end to Veteran related problems.

Liz says, “The more educated we are the more we can help the people out on the street and veterans in need.”

The forum continues Wednesday at the Holiday Inn, in Grantville. Sessions include treating post traumatic stress disorder and addiction, military culture and employment programs.

For more on the forum, contact the Department of Public Welfare.

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