Born and raised in Michigan City, Indiana, this city was all Jeff Deuitch knew until he joined the United States Army in the Delayed Entry Program during his senior year of high school. Twenty days after his high school graduation, Deuitch shipped off to Infantry Basic Training at Fort Benning in Georgia. His first duty station was South Korea, moving around between Fort Carson in Colorado, Panama, Fort Campbell in Kentucky, and Fort Benning. After twenty-two years and nine months of Active Duty Service, Deuitch came home to be close to his mom after his father passed away in October of 2012.
“My mom has always been my best friend,” Deuitch said. “Going to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, I knew that if I could call my mom, my mind would be at peace and I would be at ease with what happened outside on patrol. You could say I have been a momma’s boy, but I’m okay with that because I love her so much.”
For the past year, Deuitch has worked as the Executive Director of the Michigan City Department of Human Rights. While in the Army, he worked as the Equal Opportunity NCOIC for a Battalion sized Unit. While his main job was to lead soldiers into combat, another responsibility of his was to investigate cases of discrimination, then brief his finding to his Commanding Officer if the findings were negative. With the Department of Human Rights, his main responsibility is to investigate workforce discrimination.
“I take this very seriously due to the fact that I want people to know that we are here to help if you feel that you have been discriminated against in any way,” Deuitch said. “Every day I come to work and I have a chance to help a Michigan City resident with an issue on the job or if they have any other concerns, the office will point them in the right direction. Nobody leaves my office without being helped. I’m most proud of that. This office is making Michigan City better.”
When his father was still alive and volunteering for the Salvation Army, every year for about ten years, once a summer he cooked his famous “Jack’s Chicken.” They would have a huge lunch with all the sides, serving over one hundred people on this special day. Deuitch and his kids would come out and help as well, and when he retired from the military, he wanted to bring something like this to Michigan City. So, he reached out to the Salvation Army in Michigan City and they already had a special day in mind. Deuitch smoked over 80 lbs of pork and they fed over two hundred people that day.
“I look forward to doing this every year,” Deuitch said. “It’s just something to give back to the community. We also try to supply the Men’s Homeless Shelter in Michigan City with at least one hot meal a week. My father would always instill in me the necessity of giving back to the community and I’m just trying to do my part. It’s small, but hopefully it makes some people happy in the community. Selfless service and just helping the community is big in my family.”
In what remains of his spare time, Deuitch enjoys going to events around Northwest Indiana and spending time with his family.