I am saddened to write this, but as the botched withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan unfolds, and as a former Navy pilot, I believe it needs to be said. I would like to offer my thanks to all veterans, and their families, who served in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.
I know many veterans who have served our country bravely in Afghanistan. They need to know the conduct of this withdrawal will never diminish their service, or from our appreciation of the sacrifices they made to protect us.
Watching this, “withdrawal” arouses feelings of both anger and heart break. I can’t imagine what it would be like to see it through the eyes of someone who lost friends or family serving there; and it’s gut wrenching to see those who fought alongside us left behind.
That’s why I want to share some resources for veterans with you. Pass them along to any veteran you know who might need them. Right now, it’s important for us to let our veterans know they are #NotAlone, and there is no shame in reaching out if they need assistance, or even just to talk to someone.
Here are some resources that may be helpful to our veterans. Thank you for sharing them with those in need.
Veterans Crisis Line
Call: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1
Veterans can discuss how they feel with other vets in these community-based counseling centers. 70% of Vet Center staff are veterans. Call 1-877-927-8387 or find one near you.
- VA Mental Health Services Guide – This guide will help you sign up and access mental health services.
- MakeTheConnection.net – information, resources, and Veteran to Veteran videos for challenging life events and experiences with mental health issues.
- RallyPoint – Talk to other Veterans online. Discuss: What are your feelings as the Taliban reclaim Afghanistan after 20 years of US involvement?
- Download VA’s self-help apps – Tools to help deal with common reactions like, stress, sadness, and anxiety. You can also track your symptoms over time.
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) – Request a Peer Mentor
- VA Women Veterans Call Center – Call or text 1-855-829-6636 (M-F 8AM – 10PM & SAT 8AM – 6:30PM ET)
- VA Caregiver Support Line – Call 1-855-260-3274 (M-F 8AM – 10PM & SAT 8AM – 5PM ET)
- Together We Served –Find your battle buddies through unit pages
- George W. Bush Institute – Need help or want to talk? Check In or call:1-630-522-4904 or email: email@example.com
- Elizabeth Dole Foundation Hidden Heroes – Join the Community
- American Red Cross Military Veteran Caregiver Network – Peer Support and Mentoring
- Team Red, White & Blue – Hundreds of events weekly. Find a chapter in your area.
- Student Veterans of America – Find a campus chapter to connect with.
- Team Rubicon – Find a local support squad