Darryl is a U.S. Army combat veteran who has spent years working with terminally ill children. Now Darryl, due to injuries and health issues cannot pay his rent, or his medical bills, and has finally set his pride aside and is asking for our help.
A little about Darryl.
Darryl served with the 1-26 Infantry (Blue Spaders) (at the time, within the 1st Infantry Division) of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, where we met.
After his time in the Army, Darryl has dedicated his life to charity, working with terminally ill children, and others in great need, enriching other's lives.
But now, he needs us.
Darryl's Volunteer Work.
In April 2011, while still serving in the Army, with a few friends, Darryl helped to found the Blue Moon Clan of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club. The Mandalorian Mercs is a worldwide non-profit Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans and volunteers. The Mercs perform various “troops” where they dress up as Star Wars characters and visit ill kids, attend other charity events, and foster a sense of belonging. In this Organization, Darryl found that same family feeling he had in the military.
After getting out of the Army, Darryl remained in the Fort Knox area, seeking to go to school. He continued to learn American Sign Language for the Deaf, and would spend his nights making videos singing in sign language.
He continued to work with the costume club, visiting kids in hospitals, arranging events to raise money and awareness of them, enriching the lives of others.
But soon after, Darryl experienced many hardships, and found himself unable to perform at the levels he used to.
Darryl’s health declined, with injuries to his back and neck, compounded by other issues, and he found himself struggling to work.
Long hours working at a home improvement store, lifting and moving boxes and other tasks took a toll on his body and on his mind. Struggling with the realization that he was no longer the strong, fit man he was, Darryl worked had to maintain his capability to work.
Darryl puts the uniform back on.
After getting out of the Army, Darryl has donned his dress uniform only once- for the funeral of his father.
In the course of a few months, Darryl lost both of his parents, back to back. After arranging a military funeral for his father, a vet, and going through the loss of his mother, Darryl found himself alone. As a single child, he was left to his own devices to find his way through this world.
During this time, alone, grieving, and lost in his health issues for which he could not seem to get the doctors to address, Darryl became bitter. His negativity cost him some of his friends. It was hard for those who loved him to see him in this state.
Where we are now-
Darryl has been in need for a very long time now, setting aside his own needs, in order to take care of others.
Now Darryl has gotten to where he cannot hold a standard job.
When he could no longer work, he went back to school, continued to attend the charity events he could, and has been spending his time painting, and doing all he can to just live.
Darryl cut his bills, sold some of his things, and is doing all he can to get back to work.
He refused handouts, he refused charity. He wants to work for what he needs. Now that opportunity has arisen.
Darryl needs to get a few tools for his work, his tool for his trade. He will be able to pay this month’s rent, but not next. If he can get back to work, he can pay his bills, and get back to helping others.
I just hope we can get him back out there, get him out of his current situation. He is a great, kind, and loving man, (yes, he has his faults, nobody is perfect) and I want people to know that people like him, those who help so many others, still need help themselves.
Lew Cunningham and Mark Rash
- Kaitlin Francis
- Shawn Smith
- Richard Whittaker
- Tasha Ruth
- Aeryk Sullivan
Organizer and beneficiary
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