Army veteran and ex-addict, Kelvin Manurs, is doing his best to help his fellow veterans in need by teaching through experience.
Manurs was in fifth grade when he first began using drugs. At 18 he joined the army, but his addiction followed him there, hindering his ability to serve his country.
“My drug addiction escalated during Desert Storm when I was active duty,” Manurs said to ABC 7 News.
“My commander was wanting to send me to jail.”
But instead of going to jail, Manurs got out of the service. He got married and had a family but continued to struggle with drugs, going in and out of rehab more than a dozen times.
“The bottom for me was living in an alley in Northwest D.C.,” he said. “I had left my home, and was using crack every day, alcohol every day.”
And that’s when he was arrested and sentenced to 5 years to life for selling drugs.
“Suicide was something I was contemplating when I was looking at five to life. I didn’t want to do life in prison,” Manurs said.
But the prison time turned out to be a positive thing for him. Manurs got sober and found a new path – to help those around him that are struggling.
Manurs spent 5 years in prison but now runs his own nonprofit group called ‘Arm in Arm,’ where he counsels other veterans struggling with various issues. He leads discussions with the veterans, letting them know that they are not alone and that they can learn from his mistakes.