Leadership & peers

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love”  – Martin Luther King, Jr

our volunteers

People often misconstrue that they are "qualified" or have adequate education to be a peer/mentor.  That is not the case.  Experience in the subject matter in which you are mentoring someone about is the only "education" you truly need...that and a heart to help.

We use people just like you to provide peer support services to individuals who have been exposed to trauma in their lives or careers.  Our primary mission is to focus on our members of the 1st responder,  ER staff, corrections, 9-1-1 dispatchers, and veteran members.  That does not, however, exclude someone in need of help with nowhere to turn.

Without our dedicated and loving peer mentors, we would not be able to achieve our goal, "do to others what you would have them do to you" (Matthew 7:12, NIV Bible).

MIKE CROWE

Mike Crowe, Executive Director/Fire and EMS Peer

Mike finished his career in firefighting and EMS in 2013 after starting as an EMT-A in 1992. Mike was medically retired due to 2 specific calls he responded to. He had difficulty afterward and was diagnosed with chronic PTSD and major depressive disorder. Mike is continuously working on his recovery by attending therapy, managing a grounding group, and spiritual healing. Heroes Comfort, he believes, is his purpose in life and his God-given mission.

He has four grown children, three girls one boy. The “baby” of the group just graduated high school early, the next week started EMT school and desired to “follow in dad’s footsteps.”

SHAWN THOMAS

Shawn thomas, advisor

Shawn is a deputy for the King County Sheriff's Office in Seattle, WA. Shawn has been a deputy for 24 years and Jeff recently retired  from the King County Sheriff's Office after 32 years.

In September 2016, Shawn's peer support captain suggested she organize a health and wellness conference for first responders and their families. The conference was a huge success and first responders reached out for assistance. That is when Shawn realized how important the conference was and other department's and organizations asked for her to organize a conference for them. In the first year they organized five conferences in Seattle, North Carolina, Florida, Texas and Arizona. Now they have had twenty-five conferences and have many more planned in the coming year.

Photo of daniel defenbaush and wife Christina

Daniel Defenbaugh, Advisor

Daniel Defenbaugh served on the Indianola Police Department for 14 years and served 3 years as a narcotics detective for the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Drug Task Force. In 2014, Daniel received medical retirement due to heart issues stemming from PTSD.
 
After retirement, Daniel spent the next 6 years struggling with deep depression and suicidal thoughts and found healing through his faith in God. The calling to use his trauma and pain to connect with others and aid them in their healing process has brought new light to his life and Daniel is deeply passionate about this.
 
Daniel's greatest joy in life is spending time with his wife and five children who range from college to first grade. As a family, they enjoy camping, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Daniel is excited to serve in his church and help lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. 

Don freeman, chaplain