Duane K. L. France, LPC
Director, Veteran Services
I am a retired Army Noncommissioned Officer, combat Veteran, and clinical mental health counselor. After retiring from the Army in 2014 after 22 years and five combat and operational deployments, including two to Afghanistan and one to Iraq, I became a clinical mental health counselor to support my fellow Veterans. I am also the son, grandson, nephew, and brother of combat Veterans from WWII, Vietnam, and the Global War on Terror.
I am a member of the inaugural class of the George W. Bush Institute Veteran Leadership Program, a program that supports individuals from diverse sectors across the country who are motivated to increase their impact in helping our nation's Veterans. I was also selected as the 2019 El Paso County Veteran of the Year, and am active in suicide prevention efforts in the Pikes Peak Region.
As I prepared to retire from the Army, a mentor mentioned to me that there were not enough combat Veterans in the clinical mental health field. I saw that my fellow veterans would need to have clinicians who understand the nature of military service and the unique aspects of military culture.
I obtained my Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Adams State University in 2015. I began working with justice involved Veterans as a mental health counselor for the 4th Judicial District Veteran Trauma Court, and work exclusively with service members, veterans and their families.
Why work with Duane?
The military trained us to be warriors. Through basic combat training, skills training, and service in the military both at home and abroad, we were immersed in a culture that relied on strength, honor, and resilience. Unfortunately, the military is also an inherently dangerous and stressful occupation. The same care that was taken to turn us into service members isn’t taken to turn us into Veterans; sometimes that transition can be difficult, and it can be beneficial to meet with someone who understands the military and the stress that comes with it.