Seeking Adivce on How to Help a Veteran

pilot538

Unverified
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
9
Location
VA/DC/MD
Good evening Shadowspear, hope everyone is enjoying their Friday night.

I had something happen today I wasn't prepared to handle. I was rucking with a veteran that I didn't know well and had connected through via RWB. He came out to join me in some miles and to have company for the afternoon.

The whole time he seemed down. Didn't talk a lot, seemed to have something weighing on him. As we were walking back to the parking lot, I asked him if he had plans for the weekend. He replied "I feel like putting a gun to my head and pulling the trigger. Ever since I left the service I haven't found one person I can count on. Not one good friend." I looked him in the eye and he looked defeated. I asked him what was going on, and he confided in me briefly but did not share much more. I asked him if he was going to be okay tonight, and he said he was, but it is becoming a struggle moreso everyday and he is to the point of admitting he needs help.

I'm not sure what to do here. I'm well out of my lane and frankly I have no idea what I can/should do. I understand there is a great deal of information online for Veteran resources, but I'm uneasy just repeating these as I'm afraid it'll come off wrong; a young non-military 20-something year old telling a middle-aged Veteran what I found online to help him. Any advice on what to do and where I can point him would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

Cookie_

SOF Support
Joined
Dec 19, 2017
Messages
973
You don't need to be a vet to help him; while the specifics causes of depression might not be relatable, that feeling of utter loneliness is something most everyone can relate to.

He knows he needs some help, and he felt comfortable enough to tell you (a near stranger) about it. Encourage that. You don't need to throw resources at the guy, but offer that. I.E.

"Hey man, you were talking about getting some help; I know it takes a lot to admit that, and I want to help you out if I can. If you need a hand getting started, I know some resources/group that might be a good place to look."

ETA: I'll go out on a limb and say most members of the board have been in this situation. As the supporter, the sufferer, or both. If you feel out of your element, I know myself/other members would be more than happy to reach out to your buddy(if he's open to that).
 

pilot538

Unverified
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
9
Location
VA/DC/MD
Follow-up to my originally posting. Since then the veteran has reached out and posted in the local Team RWB chapter asking for help. A couple of members have responded to his posting, inviting the gentlemen to the local events and other things both as a group and on an individual level. I anticipate more will in the morning as well.

I will continue to stay in contact with him to ensure he has at least someone that will listen. I'm moving away shortly and reached out to the Team RWB chapter leader and he assured me that he would make sure someone would at least try physically interact with the veteran on a regular basis. Our local Team RWB chapter is filled with active and passionate members from all walks of life, so I hope he finds some to confide in.

Thank you @Cookie_ and the various members who messaged me with advice. I appreciate it greatly. Hopefully I will be better prepared next time to help.
 
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