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Valley Baptist Church is opening their arms to help veterans mental health

Posted at 6:23 PM, Sep 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 21:23:57-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The events that have taken place in Afghanistan have rocked the nation leaving some veterans with mixed feelings.

Some local organizations say they have seen an uptick in veterans seeking resources.

Asking for help is never an easy thing to do and when it comes to people who are used to helping others it can be even more difficult.

“I think it has become more prevalent in everyone's mind there has been an increase but with more attention being given because of what’s happening in Afghanistan,” said Ty Barksdale the pastor of Valley Baptist Church. “People are more aware and while the world is full of trouble being more aware of those troubles helps us to care for people.”

One message Barksdale wanted to drive home for veterans is that you are not alone.

“I think for anybody, no matter what trial you’re going through when somebody says I know that it hurts I may not know your hurt, but I want to step alongside with you. I want to walk alongside with you through this and even if I can’t relate on every level, I want to make sure that you get the help that you need because you matter,” said Barksdale.

Barksdale has partnered with Portrait of a Warrior Gallery to create groups for veterans by veterans to aid them in every way possible

“We can get them into our Mighty Oak Warrior Program outpost and it's a five-day program for men or women regardless branch or what combat or non-combat campaign that they served in they come to us and say I’m a veteran I need help,” said Barksdale.

In addition to this program, there is also the reboot recovery program.

“It is a faith-based group, but anybody can come to it. We had a young man come that said I don’t believe in God said that's fine just come and some Vietnam Veterans were able to say I understand your struggle I’ve been there come around him and they were very vulnerable very open. Was able to bless this young man and change his perspective it was bleak before and now he has hope,” said Barksdale.

For Barksdale, this work hits close to home because his grandfather served in WWII.

“Getting to walk along somebody, walk with them through their pain they’re not alone and they’re going to get the help they need and when you see that change that spark of hope. Life comes back into them uh a lot of the fear melts away,” said Barksdale.

The resources at Valley Baptist Church are free to all veterans and Barksdale wants veterans to know they are here for them.