(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) In January, the Veterans Administration made the unprecedented decision to allow all US veterans (more than 18 million servicemen and women) access to emergency behavioral crisis care anywhere in their communities, and to do it for free.
No longer do veterans have to wait on a VA appointment to receive treatment, or feel uncomfortable accessing mental healthcare services in a military-like setting. All of a sudden, a door opened for local veterans that had previously been closed, and a St. Joseph therapist is grateful to fulfill the mission given to him long ago.
“I kind of had to work through some of the the issues that I had as a veteran myself,” said former US Marine and owner of Fisher Counseling, in St. Joseph.
For Fisher, the battle hasn’t ended. When he made the eternal and collective commitment to the US Marine Corps, he pledged loyalty to his fellow marines he’s fought alongside, “Semper Fi”. It means “always faithful” in Latin, and no one understands the depths of despair quite like a fellow soldier.
“When I first came home, I wasn’t able to get services for X, Y, or Z, I didn’t fit into whatever the criteria were. I think mostly because I was “too young” is what one provider told me.,” said Fisher.
Fisher’s struggle to adjust to civilian life was less than light-hearted, and similar to many US veterans, seeking help was an uncomfortable step; almost unnatural.
Aaron Samuels was one of those fellow Marines, he took his last ride in 2017 and l