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Hoosier Heroes: Vietnam veteran turning his life around

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INDIANAPOLIS - Making music is Gregory Thomas' passion.

It's helped him through hard times in the past- and through some of life's low notes.

A military veteran, Greg served stateside during Vietnam, but afterwards struggled with drugs and eventually became homeless.

“I had a truck, so I would sleep in the back of my truck,” said Thomas. “Stuff happens, you know, the rent man’s not saying ‘I’ll let ya stay for free,’ it doesn`t work like that.”

Through it all, music has helped him grow.

“It helped me a lot because I can always go and play a tune. It’s like it’s talking to me,” said Thomas. “It calms me down, it says something. I can be sad, I can play a sad tune. I don’t start crying, I just feel relieved.”

Now he's relieved because he has a new song in his heart- and now a new job at the airport.

“I get to wear a tie,” Thomas said proudly. “I get my wings back and this is great to have some money in your pocket. I’ve got my dignity and pride back.”

“Greg is just a shining example of success in our program. He wants to become a better person,” said Debra Des Vignes with the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation.

“It makes me feel great you know cause I was blessed,” said Thomas. “It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe unless you experience it.”

If you’re interested in helping veterans like Greg, you can find more info about HVAF of Indiana on the organization’s web site or call 317-951-0688.

The group helps more than 200 veterans every month in their transitional housing properties and hundreds more through outreach programs across the state.