Recovering veteran's advice to others: "Put the pride and ego down and go get help"

Channel 6 Reporter Jillian Angeline reports.

TEMPLE - A local veteran is recovering in Temple after entering rehab for years of alcohol abuse after service in the Army.

Specialist Jim Brady joined the Army to follow in his dad's footsteps right after high school.  Right after basic training, he was sent to Haiti for humanitarian assistance after the earthquake in 2010.

"It was just a traumatic experience.  Hard to talk about, I guess you could say," Brady said.

He said it was worse than his deployment to Iraq.

"I watched a guy get shot over a bag of rice.  I watched a dude get hacked up with a machete over a bag of rice, countless things like that," he said.

After serving for three years, he left the military in 2012.  But the invisible wounds remained.  It took him about five years to realize he needed to make change.  He checked into rehab facilities aimed at helping veterans in Temple and Belton--the Department of Veterans Affairs facility and Cedar Crest Hospital.

Brady said it helped to talk with the older veterans who were recovering in the programs too.

"Just form their mistakes, learning what they did wrong, how long they've been doing that.  I've been making my mistakes for five years, some of them 40," Brady said.  "So it's like at least I got that kind of time on my hands to make things right."

Brady was a part of anger management classes, one-on-one counseling, and group sessions with others.

"She was teaching me breathing techniques," he explained about one of the counselors who helped him through his struggles.

Brady also mentioned his father, who is still in the Army, has been very supportive as he recovers from alcohol abuse.  He said his father also went through bouts of depression while serving in the military.

Now Brady is focusing on working for a lawn company, exercising and starting some MMA training.

For more information about the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Temple, click here.  For more information about Cedar Crest Hospital in Belton, click here.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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