Volunteer Spotlight: David Druitt

David Druitt is a Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington volunteer who has dedicated his life to improving the well-being of veterans, the imprisoned, and ex-offenders.  David is answering Pope Francis’ call to action, “Jesus teaches us to see the world through his eyes — eyes which are not scandalized by the dust picked up along the way, but want to cleanse, heal and restore. He asks us to create new opportunities: for inmates, for their families, for correctional authorities, and for society as a whole.”

David, known as “Dave” to his friends and family, is a CCDA Welcome Home Re-Entry Mentor and visits the incarcerated in Northern Virginia jails.  David is also a business owner.  In 2012, he started DreamCoat Quality Painting, a home improvement company that employs veterans and male and female ex-convicts.

David’s commitment to veterans and the imprisoned developed due to his personal experiences as a Vietnam Veteran with PTSD.  When he returned home, David says he committed to a life of “drinking and trouble.” He had a 25 year career in national security until his PTSD flared-up in a way that pushed him to seek a spiritual solution.

David’s life began to revolve around his Catholic faith, prayer groups, prison ministries and Alcoholics Anonymous.  David connects with others through sharing his personal struggles. He hopes his story motivates prior offenders, alcoholics or those with PTSD to start or continue their own transformation.

Dave Druitt, a Vietnam veteran and Catholic Charities volunteer who plays guitar and bass in several local bands, says that engaging in prayer and prison ministry has helped him heal.

Two of the major needs of people coming out of prison/jail are work and a sense of community support.  One-third to one-half of ex-offenders re-offend and return to prison within three years of their release.  Part of the problem is their lack of connection with society.  David helps ex-offenders establish that community connection as a CCDA Welcome Home Re-Entry mentor, and helps them find dignity, self-worth and a paycheck as an employer.

This year, David celebrated 17 years of sobriety with AA and has a family for whom he cares deeply.  He was also recognized by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce with the Chamber’s Veteran Community Service Award. Recently, his family lost their house to fire and then David had a paralyzing stroke; however, through it all he continues to be a rock for his family and for the Veterans and convicts he works with and ministers.

According to long-time friend, Jim Bayne, “This is perhaps a good way to describe Dave Druitt: a man dedicated to saving lives; one person and one day at a time. I am grateful for having Dave in my life. He is a very special person to me and a whole lot of other people.”