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Mental health advocates urge veterans to seek help

Posted at 2:34 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 15:34:28-04

WACO, Texas — Turmoil nearly 8,000 miles away in Afghanistan is taking its toll on veterans in Central Texas.

"I gave it my all. The blood sweat and lives that we gave were for a purpose that we all belived in. When it comes down to watching the country fall, I don't think you'll talk to many veterans who didn't see it coming," says Wade Hugendubler, a retired master sergeant with the US Army.

Hugendubler served in Afghanistan training local law enforcement.

"It's what concepts could they take and adjust to, there were many things they didn't get. Corruption is rampant, and it was obvious from the start," says Hugendubler.

"I have an interpreter right now that's in hiding, the Taliban came to his workplace looking for him and he had to flee. He's now hiding in a house where hopefully they can't find him. And I'm now working trying to get some contacts at our state department trying to find out if there's anything I can do," says Hugendubler.

Back home in the states, places like veterans one stop say veteran clients who suffer from PTSD are being triggered by the recent chaos thinking of their fellow soldiers who died fighting this 20 year war.

"He was angry he was sad and he started naming particular buddies who had he had seen blown up while he was there, especially in Kabul. He felt like all of their deaths had no meaning, there was no purpose," says Sue Burdett Robinson, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, LPHA, the Clinical Program Manager for Veterans Services, Veterans One Stop/HTRMHMR.

Veterans one stop is a one stop for resources where veterans, service members and their families can receive anything from physical, medical to mental resources.

Their goal to lower the statistic of 22 veterans dying by suicide every day.

"They need to process this, they need to vent. It's important they work through what they're experiencing again. And so please reach out for help," says Robinson.

For Hugendubler he relies on support from his family and his community.. And wants veterans to reach out if they need help.

"The message is that very few are actually alone, if they're out there, if they're suffering they're considering taking their own life. There's somebody they can call, a fellow veteran. That's gonna straighten them out. That's gonna give them the truth. Which is their life is worthwhile what they accomplished in Afghanistan is worthwhile and their losses do mean something," says Hugendubler.