Holidays could be especially tough this year for veterans of Afghanistan conflict
Advocates say the holidays could be especially tough this year for veterans of the war in Afghanistan.
Joe Mah served with the US Army in Afghanistan nearly a decade ago. But watching news coverage of the recent pullout of American forces, "it felt like it was just yesterday,” he said.
Mah works with vets on college campuses for the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs. But he said the recent developments in Afghanistan have opened wounds in people who served there at any time over the past 20 years.
“We would encourage people to come forward to those veterans, and straightforward ask them how they’re doing," he said. "Ask them if they’re considering self-harm. Listen without judgement. And then take them to the resources to get help.”
Mah said a good place to start is the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs website, which includes a map and phone numbers for federal and state resources for vets of any era.