Monday, July 9, 2018

Colorado Springs Veteran has courage to talk about his struggles

Service dog donated to veteran in honor of man who lost his life to suicide
NBC 9 News
Katie Eastman
July 9, 2018

KUSA — Talking to dogs is easy, but talking to people is tough, especially when those people are reporters with cameras.

But Mac Pickett, a 50-year-old from Colorado Springs, has the courage to talk about his struggles now that he has a 13-week old German Shepherd by his side.
Beres is donating the puppy, Apollo, to Pickett to help with his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Pickett is talking in hopes that his story will help someone else.

"I just put my fears to the side," he said. "If I’m just able to help one person."

After 21 years in the army, Sgt. 1st Class Pickett was diagnosed with a mental illness that kept him inside, scared to talk to people.

He understands the silence that Aaron Alexander suffered.

"July 10, 2016, my son Aaron Alexander at 19 years old died by suicide," said Wendy Galloway.

When Galloway's son joined the National Guard, he didn't seek help for depression because he worried the military would kick him out.

Two years after his death, the stigma remains.
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