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Following California mass shooting, Army vet talks about PTSD

November 09, 2018 06:08 AM

Army veteran David Kendrick Jr. went from fighting terrorists to battling homelessness and drug addiction when he returned from Iraq. 

In addition to coping with civilian life, the veteran was also recovering from the injury that forced him to leave the military. A sniper shot him in both legs severing nerves, arteries, and his femur. 

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"I was still dealing with my injuries. I didn't know what my outlook on life was. I was very depressed, so I tried to spend as much time as I could not sober so I could escape the reality of life," Kendrick admitted. 

His escape was with alcohol and opioids; a spiral that eventually left him homeless. 

"A lot of us just want to feel numb to our situation," said Kendrick. 

Elsewhere, investigators are looking for what made a Marine veteran take 12 lives at a California bar- but authorities believe he had post-traumatic stress disorder. 

As the country tries to make sense of the senseless shooting, Kendrick explains the hurdles of PTSD saying many veterans return with invisible scars, and you never know how traumatic they may be.

"You feel bitter. You feel angry," explained Kendrick. "As a veteran, you think things are gonna be laid out for you and they're not, and you want to take it out on someone else, you want to do something to other people."

"You think life isn't fair. You served your country and you're homeless on the street," added the veteran.

Kendrick recovered from his scars, homelessness, and addictions with help from Warrior Salute. It's a program helping heroes like Kendrick with acquiring job tools, housing, and counseling for PTSD.

Since 2010, the program has helped about 200 veterans get back on their feet.

After completing the program, Kendrick went back to school and got his masters degree. He started his own business and is now a motivational speaker.

"Don't be afraid to ask for help," he says to anyone reading this that is struggling. "It's not a sign of weakness. It's a sign of strength." 

"You may be saving many lives, not just your own," added Kendrick.

Any veterans that need assistance are encouraged to apply for the Warrior Salute program

You can find the application on their website by clicking here.

Credits

Beth Cefalu

Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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