Local veteran shares importance of seeking mental health help following Afghanistan attack

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local veterans organization said it’s experiencing more calls. Veterans and others seeking resources for mental health help following an ISIS attack Thursday.

For Afghanistan veterans seeing what is unfolding can bring back some painful memories.

FOX4 spoke with a local veteran organization, who meets at the American Legion Post in Overland Park. The member said they have been bombarded with calls from veterans dealing with anxiety over the recent events.

“Sad, heartbroken for the 11 Marine Corpsmen that lost their lives,” said U.S. Marine veteran Aaron Bono. “Seems senseless because it’s been so long since we lost someone over there.”

Bono served in Iraq in 2003 and served in Afghanistan in 2004.

He knows all too well about the fight in the Middle East and he’s devastated about the recent attack that left soldiers dead and injured.

“It’s been really stressful,” Bono said. “I’ve said it all along since I’ve gotten back there in 04, this is going to be our generation’s Vietnam.”

Like many Afghanistan veterans, there’s a lot of anger over what is happening overseas.

“I know the veteran crisis line has been blowing up recently,” Bono said. “It’s hard on a lot of guys. It brings back a lot of painful memories. It makes us feel like our sacrifice was for what?

FISH, friends in service of heroes, has noticed an uptick in calls too.

FISH Chaplain Michael Mercer tells FOX4 they do a lot to help veterans find resources when it comes to coping with trauma.

“We receive phone calls and emails on a daily basis,” Mercer said. “We are almost overwhelmed right now with the amount of people that need help. We don’t want any veteran to feel like they are completely alone. We want to put them in contact with the support that they need.”

While Bono said he copes by keeping himself busy. He encourages his fellow veteran to get help.

“Talk to somebody. We need each other more than ever. It’s a time for the veteran. It’s a time for the veterans to unite because we understand what we are going through.”

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