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Local veteran hopes his success story will inspire others

A local veteran hopes his story of success will inspire other veterans who might be at a low point in life.

Posted: Jul 10, 2019 7:05 PM

WHITE CITY, Ore. -- A local veteran hopes his story of success will inspire other veterans who might be at a low point in life.

Ron Butkus joined the military in 1985 as a mechanic and served for four years, going from Fort Hood, Texas to Kaserne, Germany.

He said things started to go downhill when he was out of the military and living in Las Vegas. 

"It was the worst two years of my life from 2010 to 2012," Butkus said. 

He lost his job and turned to gambling, which led to drug and alcohol abuse and eventually homelessness. He was even considering take his own life.

"I just wanted to jump in front of the bus," Butkus said. 

He said a phone call with a friend changed everything. He reached out the VA in Las Vegas where he met another veteran who encouraged him to come to Southern Oregon. 

That's where his started to get back on track.

"I stayed plugged in to support groups, I helped out, volunteered, did whatever I could do to keep busy," Butkus said. 

He put in the work, climbed the ladder and eventually landed a job as a Peer Support Specialist. Now he is the one doing the encouraging and inspiring.

"I'm often caught in the hallway with veterans and talking and discussing some of my stories with them," Butkus said. 

It's a dream job he never imagined he'd have one day. 

When it comes to Southern Oregon's resources, he can't say enough good things about the VA, Columbia Care, and Homes for Heroes. He now has a home of his own.

He wants other veterans to know they can turn their life around too.

"All it takes is just a little bit of courage, go that 51 percent, just walk in that door," Butkus said. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 391099

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60298839
Washington41981395
Marion39886506
Clackamas32773378
Lane30113355
Jackson24880360
Deschutes23557185
Umatilla15126180
Linn14637179
Douglas13375291
Josephine10148244
Yamhill9762143
Klamath9053146
Polk8212100
Benton609738
Malheur592487
Coos5664106
Columbia430455
Jefferson420266
Lincoln362152
Union338755
Crook334056
Wasco316146
Clatsop261835
Baker219833
Tillamook216645
Hood River213737
Morrow197525
Curry191939
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105416
Wallowa75713
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5083462

Reported Deaths: 74473
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152713227166
San Diego4069274335
Riverside3876785358
San Bernardino3745435962
Orange3343985725
Sacramento1683542443
Kern1576621804
Fresno1567952254
Santa Clara1520891925
Alameda1251761504
San Joaquin1075591834
Ventura1040031190
Contra Costa1037721046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare860871096
San Francisco56909669
San Mateo56320629
Monterey52488626
Solano47671357
Santa Barbara47293549
Merced45053667
Sonoma43168412
Placer42141470
Imperial38477773
Kings35206363
San Luis Obispo31476359
Madera26194311
Shasta26081451
Butte25455314
Santa Cruz22248224
Yolo21558257
Marin18465249
El Dorado18301166
Sutter14571186
Napa13420104
Yuba1076089
Tehama10275130
Humboldt10158119
Nevada10019105
Mendocino857197
Lassen796756
San Benito781578
Tuolumne773090
Lake7043110
Amador577366
Siskiyou474755
Glenn457436
Calaveras441588
Del Norte375542
Colusa325220
Inyo256646
Plumas19367
Mono18784
Mariposa160018
Trinity99717
Modoc7655
Unassigned3220
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
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