SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - At first glance, it looks like father of two Darryl Ware is just playing with one of his kids’ army men. “My initial reaction, to be honest Doug, ‘What in the world’,” wife Krystal says with a smile.
Over time, she warmed up to her husband’s new little obsession. “I feel like I’ve got a hobby. I feel good. I’m not stressed,” an excited Darryl explains.
Darryl says its better he spend time playing with action figures than still playing with his own life.
“It adds up,” begins Darryl, talking about his many years spent in law enforcement. “It’s like a kettle,” he explains, that continues to brew.
Darryl says years growing up in a verbally and physically abusive home was merely the beginning of a lot of heartbreak and hurt he says he’s battle throughout most of his life.
“I’ve always loved comics, in that universe, as a get-a-way,” says Darryl, explaining why he now is fully devoted to what he describes as action-figure photography.
The 38-year-old has been collecting action figures for about as long as he’s been collecting the mental wear-down he’s now trying to escape.
“Survivors guilt was a lot of it,” shares Darryl about the grief and pain he felt after a close friend of his from Marine boot camp who was killed in the Middle East not long after the two swapped deployments assignments.
“I felt like he paid a price for me.”
After his stint in the military, Darryl moved into law enforcement, spending much of the last decade with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office.
But despite receiving numerous commendations for flood and fire rescues during his time with BPSO, he suddenly resigned this past spring.
“I felt like I wasn’t going to come home, but that was OK,” reveals Darryl about how he wasn’t just running into burning homes because he felt it was his job, but because he says he had accepted his own death.
“He came home and I looked at him one day and I said, ‘You know what, it’s time’,” says Krystal.
The two had an agreement, that if Krystal felt the job had emotionally become too much for her husband to deal with, she needed to say something.
“If my wife wasn’t by my side for the last 12 years, I probably wouldn’t be alive today,” admits Darryl.
What began as a hobby for Darryl is now a full-time job, creating scenes with various action figures, from super heroes, to wrestlers, to toy Marines.
“Whatever is bothering me, I would recreate the scene and take a picture. And it’s no longer in my head. It’s in the picture,” explains Darryl.
And that includes one Marine he used in a picture he snapped with super hero Captain America.
“The Marine is supposed to be me, sitting there at a memorial,” begins Darryl, explaining the memorial represented is for his boot camp buddy who’s death he still wears heavily on his heart.
Darryl says he he fully appreciates how far he’s come and how far his action-figure photography has carried him out of a world of depression.
“I can see again. I can breathe again,” exclaims Darryl.
“He’s like a whole new person,” says Krystal.
Darryl’s work can be viewed by searching ‘Wayne Kent Photography’ on Facebook, Instagram and at Etsy.com.