BELL COUNTY - Krzvsztof Kala called the Veterans Crisis Line Thursday. He is a former military serviceman, who also worked at the Killeen Police Department and the Nolanville Police Department -- at one point. When he called for help Thursday, he was threatening himself with a 40-caliber weapon, so the Bell County Sheriff's Office responded to his home on Pecan Creek Road in Killeen.
When Deputy Jevon Smith arrived for a welfare check, Kala pointed a weapon him. Smith was able to disarm and arrest Kala but suffered a leg injury in the process. His quick-thinking and restraint may have saved Kala's life.
The incident represents a larger issue of veterans with PTSD. Fortunately, there is help before they become suicidal. For veterans who have almost given up on their battle with PTSD, the following resources can make a huge difference, even if contacted by friends.
First, is the Veteran Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255. The line will connect veterans with responders in the Department of Veterans Affairs who can guide them through the process of getting help. The crisis line also has a website where veterans can find more resources.
Next, is Bring Everyone Into the Zone. It's a nonprofit that works to create peer-to-peer veteran groups all across Texas. The group has a team of trained volunteers who can reach out to veterans in a crisis and will even visit them on location to help. Below are the organization's contacts:
Maureen Jouett: 254-681-9112
Bill Barker: 254-423-0399
Maureen Sapp: 254-226-5382
Veterans can also get involved in the local 22 Until None Chapter. Founder Frank Cash holds community events and marches every month to spread awareness about veteran suicide. Cash knows veterans who have tried to commit suicide and was saved from an attempt himself earlier in life. Now those veterans have formed a community that can reach out to others soldiers who struggle with suicide. The group also has a Veteran Service Officer to help soldiers navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs.
22 Until None local 24/7 hotline: 1-866-254-9961
Veterans looking for help can also walk into several professional counseling centers in Bell County that are equipped to help people with PTSD:
Central Texas VA Heath Care System: 1901 Veterans Memorial Dr, Temple, TX 76504 (Phone: 254-778-481)
Killeen Heights Vet Center: 302 Millers Crossing #4, Harker Heights, TX 76548 (Phone: 254-953-7100)
Counseling Solutions: 14138 TX-195, Killeen, TX 76542 (Phone: 254-519-1144)
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