Adam Roche’s military career began in 2000 when he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. After being stationed in Okinawa, Japan, Adam’s unit became the first deployed to Iraq in 2003. He served as an infantry machine gunner with the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Lima Company. A tour to Afghanistan followed, where he was a sergeant of the guard for the embassy in Kabul.

Adam found the adjustment to civilian life challenging. He said he was blessed to eventually find himself working for Mental Health of America Dutchess County’s Vet2Vet program. He’s able to assist other veterans struggling with mental health issues after they transition to post-military life.

“I like to call it we’re the boots on the ground. We’ll actually go out in the woods, we’ll find veterans, we’ll go into basements where veterans are isolating themselves,” Adam said. There’s nothing better than when you first meet a veteran who is really down and he or she is struggling with PTSD, substance abuse issues and stuff like that and literally, you look in their eyes and it’s black--there’s nothing there. And then working with our program, they go to our groups, they go to our social functions and you look there again and there’s a light there.”

Adam’s work helping his fellow vets and fellow Hudson Valley residents is what led friend Michael Emard to nominate him for WPDH’s Vets Who Rock Program.

“Adam is the most loyal and caring person to everyone he meets,” Michael said, noting that Adam has even gone so far to help others that he was stabbed in an attempt to break up a physical altercation between a couple in the City of Poughkeepsie.

As one of WPDH’s Vets Who Rock, Adam received a $500 gift card and is in the running for a $10,000 grand prize courtesy of Tompkins-Mahopac Bank, Ruge’s Automotive and Mirabito.