Local Army Veteran Hopes Change Comes from Ft. Hood Tragedy

John Reynolds served in the U.S. Army for 9.5 years. He was medically disabled and left in 2008, but still suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He hopes this shooting raises awareness about soldier's mental health after deployment.
By Anne Parker
aparker@kamc.tv

LUBBOCK, TX-- "All I can say is my prayers and everything goes out to the families of the victims," veteran John Reynolds, a West Texas native who served in the army for 9.5 years, said.

He also tells us he moved around a lot growing up because his dad is also a retired veteran, and they spent a good deal of time in Ft. Hood where he attended high school.

During his own time with the army, he was stationed there for three years.

For him, Wednesday was a haunting day at Ft. Hood, the place he feels connected to.

But amidst all of the tragedy, he can't help feeling for the gunman, Ivan Lopez.

"Sounds like he was going through a real hard time and it finally took a toll on him," he said.

This is because Reynolds knows first hand what it's like to be deployed.

"A lot of people have anger towards him and everything," he said. "I can't help but to kinda sympathize. He's gone over to Iraq, fought for his country, comes back. Nobody goes over there and comes back the same."

In 2008, Reynolds was medically discharged from the Army, but to this day, he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

"I've been out almost seven years and it's hard to be around big groups," he tells us. "You feel kinda like your boxed in- Anxiety starts running and it's just from there... normally its temper, anger, if you cant get away from it or get it controlled."

Reynolds says he is a perfect example of why it is so important for soldiers to get help when they come home.
   
"I am hoping the military realizes that soldiers need to be talked to and given help after they deploy, from a deployment, instead of hurrying up and trying to re-deploy them. They need to stop and think about the soldier's well being as for their own well being, to make sure the soldiers are actually fit mentally, besides physically to continue on with their deployment."






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