DALLAS — Lucky Lawhorn commutes 65 miles round trip five days a week from his home in Oak Cliff to his job in Garland. But, even on a dreary and gray rain-soaked Tuesday, you still find a man at work with a smile on his face and an always-ready infectious laugh.
"Here, I drive a desk all day long," laughed Lawhorn outside the VA Hospital in Garland.
He laughs because he's seen a lot worse.
Not that long ago, he was living in a car in Oak Cliff, most nights searching for a public park that he could call home for the night. The Navy veteran was drowning in a life of alcohol and drugs.
"I thought about dying and I thought about living. And dying sounded better," admitted Lawhorn.
That is until someone recommended the Veterans Resource Center and Homeless Veteran Services of Dallas. He was given temporary housing, alcohol and drug treatment, and job training.
Now, he is employed at the VA Hospital in Garland as a lead program support assistant, helping guide other veterans to the medical care and services they need.
"And it also gave me a boost in confidence that I can tell somebody else that it's possible," said Lawhorn.
And the late R. Lee Ermey is part of this story too. Because the golf tournament that bears his name happens Friday, May 14 at Bear Creek Golf Club West.
Several years ago, the Marine and actor proudly offered his name to the R. Lee Ermey Memorial Classic. Ermey died in 2018.
This year, his brother Jack Ermey will serve as guest of honor and tournament host.
The third annual fundraiser is held to keep the nonprofit Homeless Veteran Services of Dallas helping and rescuing the next Lucky Lawhorn. The Veterans Resource Center has served more than 65,000 veterans and family members since it opened in 2004.
For golf tournament director and Marine veteran Chuck Wright it's another "Charlie Mike" opportunity: CM or "continue the mission" of helping his military brothers and sisters.
"Obviously, COVID has impacted our ability to do outreach. And now that it is opening up, we're trying to make sure we can meet the needs of our veterans," said Wright.
"I'm blessed to wake up every morning man," Lawhorn said. "And I wake up every morning at 4 o'clock, rain, shine, sleet, or snow. I'm up because it's a dawning of another opportunity."
"God spared my life for a reason. And I'm here and I have a purpose. And my purpose is not just for me, my purpose is to help others," he said.
And to continue doing that, they will accept all the help you can offer.
Homeless Veteran Services of Dallas is also a partner with Carry the Load. If you would also like to be a part of HVSD's Carry the Load fundraising effort this year you can find that information at this link.