BREMERTON, Wash. -- On Sunday, Sean Delaire walked through a dilapidated green building in downtown Bremerton.
For the regular visitor, it’s hard not to notice the holes in the floor board, unfinished bathrooms, and patchy ceiling.
“This is going to be the conference room,” said Delaire, who served in the Marines from 2007-2011.
For Sean, it’s what this building could be that makes it worth restoring.
“We want this to be somewhere we people can come in, veterans, families, first responders, that they can come in and this will essentially be their second home,” said Delaire.
According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, 2.1 million vets received mental health treatment from 2006-2010.
Sean recognizes veterans are battling mental health issues. He says he, too, experienced hard times after leaving the Marines.
“I couldn’t find steady work and everything just hits you at once. It just puts you in a real dark place," he said.
In 2013, a friend of Sean’s and fellow Marine, Sgt. Steve Kessler, died by suicide.
It was this personal battle that helped inspire him to launch ‘Left, Right, Straight,’ a veteran non-profit focused on giving vets an active outlet to check-in with each other.
“Yeah, I do see Steve [in this project] and there are times when I’m like, ‘Hey man, this is for you and everyone else who feels like he did,' ” said Delaire.
This community center would serve as a new headquarters for the non-profit.
“It’s about every other veteran that needs somewhere to go and doesn’t feel like they have one.”
For more information on the center and how to support its construction, click here.