Saturday, April 20, 2019

Veteran thanks officer for saving his life during crisis

Military veteran living with PTSD recalls night APD officer helped save his life

KOAT 7 News
Shellya Leggett 
April 19, 2019
"When it was going on, that was like, that was really intense and scary for me. So, it was just like, in hindsight thinking about it, you know, that guy was really, really patient and really cool with me." J Freeman

Albuquerque police and other agencies across New Mexico are requiring officers to get training from psychologists on how to deal with people with mental illnesses.

A man who said that training helped save his life spoke to KOAT. J Freeman is a six-year Army and Air Force veteran who lives with post-traumatic stress disorder. He said without the help of Albuquerque Police Department officer Phillip Meier, he might not be here to tell his story.

Freeman said he spent some time overseas in Kuwait and Iraq but has been home since 2003 and lives every day with PTSD.

"It's not always easy to have a conversation with someone, and when it's a police officer or anyone, especially when they have weapons on them, it just makes you all the more defensive and agitated," Freeman said.

About a week ago, he had a PTSD crisis.

"If I was agitated, if this were two years ago, this would have been a completely different ending," Freeman said.

He needed help, and two-year APD officer and five-year Navy veteran Phillip Meier was there.
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