GREER, S.C. (WSPA) – Life after the service as told through the eyes of many veterans can be tough. The lack of structure and the search for purpose can be a difficult challenge for many.
But sometimes, you get lucky and find your niche, like Jeremy Duckett.
He found his (niche) through wood carving.
“I’ve been attempting it for three years. I do it mainly from August to February as much I can,” Duckett shared. “Because of my disability, I’m limited. I can’t do any mass production stuff.”
Duckett served in the United States Army from 2010 to 2016.
“As a combat engineer, I was responsible for the mobility, counter mobility, and survivability, which also included route clearance where we neutralize IEDs and other explosive devices,” said Duckett.
He served two tours to Afghanistan and one to Korea.
“For us, it was very exciting,” Duckett said. “This is what we are trained to do. We love doing it down range. We were really bored back in the States.”
During his second deployment, Duckett changed jobs to a Counter Intelligence Special Agent and got his bachelor’s degree.
“It was detecting, identifying, exploiting, and neutralizing foreign intelligence entities, international terrorist organizations, and insider threats from United States forces, intelligence information, and technologies,” he explained.
Due to his hip and back injuries from his time in the service, Duckett’s new job was less demanding on his body.
But eventually, he was medically retired and sent back to the States with less structure than he had in the military.
“Originally, I was, it was just fishing. So I had to pick up something else. My wife dug and found something called Operation Hill, that are patriots with Franklin Graham’s group and Samaritan’s Purse,” Duckett explained.
“We participated in it. And she noticed that I showed real interest in chainsaw carvings.”
Duckett said the hobby took off and is now what feeds a new purpose.
“And mainly, I’ve just donated to different organizations such as When Life Sucks, which is another veteran organization,” Duckett said.
“Learn Upstate, Christian Academy, and Upstate Water Solutions.”
He said he finds chainsaw carving as his own therapy.
“I typically don’t like a one-on-one counseling session,” he shared. “It’s nice just to be able to put the headphones in, jam to some music. I would listen to downrange and get lost in my carving.”
And while Duckett said he’s grateful he’s found his niche, he encourages any veteran who is still looking for theirs, to not give up.
Jeremy Duckett, thank you for your service.
To find out more about Duckett’s carvings, click here.
To nominate a veteran to be featured in our Thank You For Your Service series, click here.