Help available for U.S. veterans struggling with Afghanistan fallout

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

You can help a veteran by pointing them toward the American Legion, if they are feeling depressed or showing signs of isolation.

“Ever since the pullout of American forces, a lot of the Afghan veterans and even some of the Vietnam veterans are pretty upset about some things. They’re just feeling a sense of isolation and distress,” said Paul Norton, with the American Legion in Marion County, on WIBC’s First Day with Terri Stacy.

“Unfortunately the family members don’t recognize that sign, the closed door, don’t bother me kind of thing,” he said.

Norton said knows personally what it’s like to experience depression and PTSD, from his own time in the service.

“There were some shots fired and some of my buddies were killed and I’ve been having some PTSD over that because I can’t stand the sound of a tire explosion or loud noises. I can’t be in a room that’s real crowded.”

Norton said he’s found solace as a master gardener in his hometown of Greenfield.

“The latest census we got from 2020 from the government report from the V.A. said that there were 6,435 U.S. veterans who died from suicide in 2018,” said retired Army Master Sgt. Bruce Curry, also with the American Legion.

He said that studies have proven that when people seek help they are less likely to commit suicide, but they have to know help is available.

“We have to help and support our service members fighting an internal battle after they return home from conflict. It’s our job to do that.”

Curry said the American Legion is helping its members by calling them and making personal contact with a program called “Buddy Check”. September is Suicide Prevention Month.

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