Local veterans participate in Mission 22 Walk

Operation Christmas Card raising funds to support veterans
Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 7:42 PM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - It is estimated that 22 veterans commit suicide every day; a sobering statistic on Veteran’s Day. Operation Christmas Card put on a walk in downtown North Platte today to raise funds for Mission 22. The group’s motto is “when their tour is over, our mission begins."

“It’s so hard, being a combat vet myself I know the struggle that some people can go through. I don’t know exactly their struggle, but the struggles are very real with being in a combat situation," said Iraq war veteran TJ Hagert.

TJ’s dad is a Navy Veteran and has witnessed those struggles firsthand. He shared his thoughts on how we all can do our part to support veterans who gave so much for us.

“I can’t give my son any advice because I’ve never been in a combat situation, but I can be an ear and I can listen to him...Just be there, be that neighbor who cares and will listen," said Thomas Hagert.

For some, finding that person to listen is harder than you might think.

“I’ve had an extremely bad experience with a doctor before, I left there more mad than when I went in because of some of the stuff they said. But with our doctors that do specialize in [PTSD] and do amazing jobs...The doctor I have now is amazing...You have to set your ground rules you if go in to talk to a doctor," added Hagert.

On this Veteran’s Day, we thank all the men and women who fought for this country. Thomas Hagert offered these final words to us when asked to share a message with the community on this special day:

“Enjoy your freedom because it was fought and paid for by the blood and sacrifice of the men and women who went before us."

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