Army veteran knows frustration of finding right treatment

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the case continues to unfold at Fort Hood, investigators will look into the treatment Ivan Lopez received for mental health.

Last year, in response to the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, the state expanded offerings to veterans.

One area veteran who watched the latest tragedy play out knows the frustration of finding the right treatment after trauma.

“I landed on my neck and head, (and fell) into a creek bed,” Chas Jacquier said. “I also took a bunch of shrapnel, fractured my neck in two places, bruised my brain, tore up a couple of my discs in my back.”

He still has the shrapnel that struck him from a rocket propelled grenade in 2010. It serves as a reminder that he lucky to still be alive.

The former staff sergeant says doctors treated his physical injuries after the blast but didn’t spend much time trying on his emotional instability.

“(They gave me) methadone, I mean all these different drugs for nightmare suppression, depression,” Jacquier said. “All these giant cocktail of stuff, ‘here just take all this.’”

Chas believes the Army medicated him too quickly. He says some soldiers also need help reconnecting with their families.

“Coming back with their spouses and feeling disconnected,” is a common issue, Jacquier said. “My spouse can’t connect with me anymore. My spouse doesn’t  know who I am,” fellow soldiers have told him. “She will never understand the stuff that I did.”

Chas is calling for more funding and better treatment for soldiers like him suffering from emotional and mental issues. He also urges family and friends of any loved one they suspect is suffering to seek help.

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