Veteran Buddy Check
Watching the news come out of Kabul and Afghanistan has been incredibly painful for me and many others, especially for Afghanistan Veterans, families, survivors, and caregivers. As more news and events unfold out of Afghanistan and the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, some Veterans may question the meaning of their service or whether it was worth the sacrifices they made. Others may feel moral distress about experiences they had during their service.
I personally recognize that after that fateful day in September 2001, many of you and those close to you decided to volunteer to serve the country when it needed them most. We are all safer today for that courageous decision. Our fellow Americans did the job our country asked, with honor and valor, and all of us are proud of the selfless sacrifice and service.
It’s both natural and understandable for all Veterans and their families to experience a range of emotions about these gut-wrenching developments in Afghanistan. If you or someone you know is having a challenging time, or simply want to talk to someone, VA has the resources and tools to help:
Veterans Health Administration mental health services, including how family members can assist a Veteran in crisis;
Veterans Crisis Line: Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 press 1 or text 838255;
Finding local mental health services and resources: Resources | Videos & Info for Military Veterans | Make the Connection;
Information on how to access immediate care and/or book a mental health appointment: VA Mental Health Services;
Vet Center resources are also available and include counseling; there is also a toll-free number: 877-WAR-VETS.
Talk with your friends and families, reach out to battle buddies and use the services listed above. If for whatever reason you feel like you have no place to turn, please reach out to a trusted friend or colleague to help cope with this stressful situation.
Please remember that regardless of what happens this week or any week, your service to our country matters. Those of us who were not in Afghanistan with you, or who did not have a family member or loved one in Afghanistan, cannot fully comprehend what you are going through right now. But we are here for you. And there are millions of people across the country who share a deep gratitude for your service, your sacrifice and your profound sense of honor.