The fear…

The desperation…

Emotions that dominate the images emerging from the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan.

They’re images painful to watch for most Americans. But imagine how it feels for those who actually serve in the military in Afghanistan? Something being dealt with here at the Veterans Recovery Resource Center in Mobile.

“There’s going to be a variety of different reactions,” says Jeremy Fletcher, a major in the US Army Reserve. “The ones that I’ve heard are, primarily, a sense of sadness, anger, the emotions that you generally associate with grief and loss.”

For a time, Fletcher served as a medic assigned to a light infantry brigade in Afghanistan. He says he can’t speak for everyone who fought in that war, They’re different people with different experiences. But as history is written, Fletcher encourages those who served in Afghanistan not to bury their emotions.

“Acknowledge them as information that something is being communicated that you care about, that you care about now,” he says. “If you’re feeling those types of things, it’s because you care. And that’s a valuable thing,. That’s an extremely valuable thing.”

Fletcher says less than one percent of Americans actually serve our country in the military. And that leaves many of us among the remaining 99% wondering how we should approach the subject- especially among friends, neighbors and relatives who may have sacrificed their physical and mental health serving our country in Afghanistan.

His advice?

“How would you do that to anybody you cared about? Anybody that was important to you, how would you approach that person? That’s going to be very individualized. There is no blanket approach. But if you care about somebody, you approach them in some way, and you’ll try. And that’s what’s important.”

Veteran Recovery Resources is a wellness center for military veterans as well as first responders on the Gulf Coast. They’re located at 1156 Spring Hill Avenue in Mobile.

Phone: (866) 648-7334

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