Veterans affairs resources for those struggling during the holiday season

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WINFIELD, WV (WOWK) — The holidays can be a joyful time surrounded with family and friends, but for others who have to spend it alone, it can be challenging.

“Around the holidays, especially if they’re by themselves, it gets really difficult for them to deal with a lot of the issues at that time,” said Jim McDade, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Commander, American Legion.

With the holiday season right around the corner, some veterans who have served in conflicts experience a range of challenging emotions or flares in post traumatic stress disorder, or P.T.S.D.

“When I got out of the military, I was an alcoholic from going on the ship. We would pull into port and we would all go get beer and get drunk, well I became an alcoholic. After I got out, it was seven years after I got out, I changed my whole life,” said Kenny Bright, U.S. Navy Veteran.

Around this time, some veterans engage in substance abuse or even take their life.

We lose about 22 veterans a day to suicide and that’s got to stop.

Jim McDade, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and Commander, American Legion

But veterans like Kenny reached out for help.

“They can call any one of us if they want to talk to somebody. They can always reach out to somebody, one of the veterans organizations. We’re always there to help our fellow veterans,” said McDade.

Experts say, if you or someone you know is struggling, some ways to help include engage in positive thinking, stay connected to family and friends, practice good self-care, stick to a routine, and limit media exposure.

“If you can get them into an organization that is truly a good bunch of people, men and women, then they can get the friendship they need and get a lot of help there because then they’ll start opening up and talk to you,” said Bright.

If you’re a veteran or know someone seeking help, you can call the Veterans Crisis Line or find your local Veterans Affairs.

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