WHITELAND — The sound of knives and axes flying through the air and landing on their wooden destination helps Mike Day get through the day.
The Indiana National Guard veteran spends two hours a day training at Johnson County Axe Throwing in Whiteland.
"It gives me an outing, like a sense of purpose," said Day.
A friend invited Day to give throwing knives and axes a chance at a time in his life when he was in a dark place.
It's what saved his life. The served in Iraq in 2007 for about one year.
The Indiana National Guard veteran was enlisted From 2005- 2013, leaving with the rank of Sergeant. He served in Iraq for about a year in 2007.
In 2017, he was diagnosed with Meniere's disease — a chronic disease of the inner-ear which causes infrequent waves of dizziness attacks that can happen for several days.
Unable to work because of the disease, he spiraled into a depression and didn't leave his home for nearly two years.
His wife Merritt Day stands by his side every day and acknowledges there were many difficult days.
"You never give up. There were days he would look at me and be like leave me alone, I just need to be left alone. And you don't, you never give up," said Merritt.
Mike is now hooked and watching the benefits unfold in life.
"It's hard when you feel like you had a purpose and a direction in the military, then you get out of the military. Those are real thoughts and fears that you don't have a purpose. I did find a new purpose," said Mike.
After proudly wearing the uniform, he now also shows his pride and patriotism by representing his community and country around the world with his sharp skills in the bullseye.
Day is heading to Appleton, Wisconsin from December 1-4 to participate in knife competition.
If you know of someone who needs mental health services, you can dial 988.