LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — One former Hospital Corpsman is on a mission to help the Capital Region breathe easier with his therepuetic business, the Salt Den.

Robert Duff enlisted as a medical specialist in 1996. When New10 asked why he joined, Duff said he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and “help people.”

He spent 24 years of his life in service, taking care of military personnel in the Navy and Marine Corps on deployments across the globe.

“[The military] gave me a sense of purpose, and working to always make our country better,” Duff said.

Duff’s father was diagnosed with COPD—a chronic lung disease that obstructs airflow to the lungs. While in Germany, Robert studied the benefits of salt therapy, also known as halotherapy.

The holistic treatment involves breathing in small salt particles that can ideally improve breathing for those with everything from asthma to allergies. Veterans can also face their own set of respiratory issues.

“We had the fire pits and different toxins down range that we had to deal with, that kind of destroyed our lungs a little bit,” Duff said.

In April 2020, Robert retired from military service, but giving back was in his blood.

“I looked into how can I help the community? But not only that, help our fellow Veterans,” Duff said.

In 2017, Duff opened the Salt Den in Latham. His favorite part of owning a business is hearing stories from those the therapy has helped. He’s proud to be celebrating five years in business.

“It was great to be able to survive through COVID and help the community,” Duff said. “Most veterans that do go into business, they have that drive to keep pushing and make it successful no matter what it takes.”