Wounds Linger Beyond Battle
Tina Richards worried her son, Cloy, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, was going to kill himself.
"You have a feeling like you can't reach him. You don't know how to reach him. You don't know what to say. You don't know what to do," Richards said. "And you just get to a point where you're afraid that, by trying so hard, maybe you're making it even worse."
She said surviving a car crash convinced her son he was meant to live. But readjusting to civilian life after combat was not easy.
"Trying to function around your family, knowing that when they look at you, you're not the same person you used to be," Cloy said. "And you can't help that. You can't change it. You can't make yourself just go back to who you were before."
Cloy and his mother said the risk doesn't end only when veterans return home from war. Cloy encouraged veterans to find help and talk to others about their experiences.
Tina Richards said the best support for Cloy was talking with other veterans, because they can relate to the horrors of combat.