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Abilene support group helps veterans deal with effects of war

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Nov 09 2012 10:15:55 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 12 2012 12:47:40 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

The Abilene Area Veteran Peer Support Group meets every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Ministry of Counseling in Abilene. They are a group of veterans who say the power of healing comes from connecting with someone who has been in their shoes.

Dave Kraly said his experience serving during the Vietnam War was difficult, but also a blessing, because it allowed him to help other veterans.

"It’s a bond like you'll not ever know and that I have yet to witness in any other facet of life, that two people returning from war, or more people returning from war can share," said Kraly.

Kraly is a facilitator with the Abilene Area Veteran Peer Support Group, part of non-profit organization "Bring Everyone in the Zone". They meet to talk about their experience in the military and help each other with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, sexual trauma and more.

"Coming back… people just don't get it. So it's easier to talk to someone who's been there, who's done that," said Liana George, who served in the Gulf War.

Five of the veterans who attend the meetings are trained facilitators, but they said they are not counselors and get as much out of the meetings as those they are there to help.

Korean War Veteran Pete English said one time a man ran out of the meeting. English followed him and they began to share their troubles with each other.

"We began to cry and pray and wound up in each others arms because we're peers. I’d been there, he'd been there," English said.

For more information about the support group call 325-676-3104