Veterans talk about obstacles they’re overcoming from service to country

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 5:28 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Fighting through threats faced on the battlefield sometimes does not spell the end of tough times for servicemen and women who return home. Army veteran Dylan Bellew knows that all too well. He is in his second stay at The Shepherd’s House transitional living center in Fort Wayne, a place that provides shelter for homeless vets.

He got a big surprise Thursday, receiving the title and keys to a donated vehicle. The Shepherd’s House has been offering that kind of reward to some of its residents for more than 20 years. He says he is learning the hard lesson that he needs to face his PTSD head on.

“I watched my friend get blown up in Afghanistan and I’ve suffered the trauma with that for about seven years... I just have to deal with it. If I don’t it’s just going to continue to eat me alive,” he said.

Justin Beatty, another resident of Shepherd’s House, says he has dealt with bouts of depression since returning from a one-year tour of duty in Iraq. He was glad to get home, but he says the experience has also been tough to shake.

“The camaraderie wasn’t there anymore. You feel kind of undervalued, going from serving such a high purpose coming back to something that feels meaningless,” Beatty said.

A survey cited by the National Academy of Sciences found that 44 percent of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan had problems readjusting after their return.

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