Here in the Cleveland area, we are fortunate to have a VA Medical Center ready to treat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental and substance abuse disorders.
WKYC Channel 3 Senior Health Correspondent Monica Robins spent time with several area veterans who have sought help.
She met Ryan, who served six years in the Ohio National Guard, and spent a year in Iraq. When he came home, he just didn't feel the same.
"My sleep was off, I was constantly thinking about things that happened in Iraq. I was very angry and full of rage...at the littlist of things."
He recognized PTSD symptoms and sought help through the VA.
"Ever since then, I've just been trying all different types of programs and treatments and it seems to really help," he says. "They have a lot of services at Wade Park that not a lot of places have.
Art Davis left the Navy after 12 years. He's now a peer support specialist, because he's the guy who gets it.
"When I got home, I struggled. But I got the help I needed here at the VA and ended up turning around and helping other guys here."
Art knows learning that the shooter at Fort Lauderdale International Airport was a veteran may impact decisions for some to get help.
"It makes our job a little bit harder. Why? Because the biggest thing that keeps guys from coming in here is stigma."
But Art wants veterans to know, "It's not just combat we deal with here. There's military sexual trauma or maybe the guy was in a horrific car crash. We deal with the symptoms, not the war story."
Mental health and substance abuse treatment is available to veterans. Even some who didn't receive an honorable discharge.
"There are some circumstances where we can work with veterans if they're trying to upgrade their discharge type," says Davis. "They can be eligible for care if we can demonstrate they developed a mental health disorder following a short period of time from their service. There are some directives where we can get them in for treatment."
PTSD can develop soon after a soldier returns home, or take months or years to manifest.
The VA has experts to help veterans deal with any type of mental health issue whenever it arises.